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Canberra, Nov 4 (IANS) Tim Cahill, Australian football’s most prolific goal-scorer, has suffered an ankle injury just days before the Socceroos’ crucial World Cup playoff against Honduras.
Cahill rolled his right ankle in the 16th minute of his Melbourne City side’s 0-1 defeat at the hands of Sydney Football Club on Friday night, reports Xinhua news agency.
Cahill, 37, was subbed off immediately by Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce and spent the second half of the match in hospital undergoing scans.
The injury comes days before the Socceroos, Australia’s national men’s football team, are to depart for the first leg of their do-or-die 2018 FIFA World Cup playoff against Honduras.
Cahill has been a key part in the Socceroos and made it this far having scored both goals in the home team’s 2-1 second leg win against Syria in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) playoff.
The Socceroos’ all-time leading goal-scorer was included in coach Ange Postecoglou’s 25-man squad for the Honduras games but News Limited on Saturday reported that he was in “serious doubt” after his ankle “blew up significantly.”
Graham Arnold, coach of Sydney FC and favourite to replace the outgoing Postecoglou, said he had his “fingers crossed” that Cahill would be fit.
“I didn’t see it, I just heard him scream when he went down just in front of the bench,” Arnold told reporters post-game.
Cahill tried to run the injury off after colliding with Sydney defender Jordy Buijs but sat on the turf five minutes later with his head in his hands.
Joyce said that he had not considered resting Cahill for the Socceroos.
“Timmy is desperate to play, he has been training hard, it’s a big game, we’re trying to win a big game, that’s it,” he said.