FIFA World Cup 2022: Martin Boyle injury | Australia v France

Australia has copped a crushing blow on the cusp of the FIFA World Cup with attacker Martin Boyle ruled out of the tournament after failing to overcome a knee injury.

Melbourne City forward Marco Tilo has been added to the Socceroos’ 26-man squad as the replacement for Boyle, who suffered the injury during a game with Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership three weeks ago.

In positive Socceroos news, midfielder Ajdin Hrustic has been cleared to play in the Socceroos’ tournament-opening match against France on Wednesday morning (AEDT).

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“Devastating news for Martin and the family,” said Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.

“We pretty much knew it was going to be touch-and-go when we selected him … we were probably 80-20 that Boyle would have been out, but we had to give him every last chance to try and get fit, especially because of the sacrifices and everything that he’s done through the whole campaign.

“Boyle’s been so important right through this whole campaign — he’s been probably one of our best players.

“But the medical staff have done everything they possibly can. Yesterday was pretty much the last chance and it didn’t come through well.

“Martin is in great spirits. He’s going to stay on here and be part of it still. He brings such great energy to the camp.

“Now it’s about getting the rest of the players ready.”

Hrustic was also racing the clock after hurting an ankle during a match with Hellas Verona in Italy’s Serie A.

Arnold said Hrustic would not start against France but would be used off the bench and be available for the Socceroos’ following games against Tunisia and Denmark.

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