Hibs winger Martin Boyle is out for an “indefinite” period of time after he picked up a knee injury while on international duty with Australia.
The 25-year-old was part of the Socceroos squad for this month’s Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, but is returning to Edinburgh immediately for treatment.
Boyle picked up the injury while playing for Australia in a warm-up match in Dubai against Oman on Sunday. He took a knock to the knee late in the Aussies’ 5-0 victory and after a scan it was decided that the best course of action was for him to return to Hibs.
Boyle will miss the whole tournament in the UAE as a result of his injury. Two Hibs players in Jamie Maclaren and Mark Milligan remain in the Australia camp.
Graham Arnold, the head coach of the Socceroos, said: “We sent Martin [Boyle] for a scan on Monday and the outcome of that assessment is that he will be out of action for an indefinite period.
“Martin was desperate to stay with us but we’ve decided that the best thing for his long-term career for both his club and country is for him to return to Scotland where he can receive great care at Hibernian FC.
“Martin has made a great impact in his time with us and it is unfortunate timing, but his Socceroos journey is not over and we look forward to him pressing for selection for matches later in 2019 and as we go through the process of qualification for the next FIFA World Cup.”
Boyle said: “The Socceroos have become a big part of my life in a short period of time and I’m gutted that I won’t be able to be with the boys in the UAE at the tournament. My focus now will be on my recovery and returning to the pitch as soon as possible with Hibs. Throughout the tournament the team will have my full support from Scotland.”
Boyle, who qualifies for Australia through his Sydney-born father, won his first cap for Socceroos in November last year when he appeared as substitute against South Korea. He then scored two goals in his first start for the Aussies against Lebanon later that month.