Martin Boyle’s Socceroos dream has developed into a nightmare after the Hibernian winger was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
It has been announced the winger is likely to miss the remainder of the campaign after being forced to undergo surgery on a knee injury sustained on duty with his new national team.
The former Montrose and Dundee attacker – who qualifies for the Socceroos thanks to his Sydney-born father – was looking forward to his first taste of major tournament action after being named in Graham Arnold’s Asian Cup squad.
But the Aberdeen-born 25-year-old’s hopes of taking part in the finals being staged in the UAE were dashed just days before the competition kicked-off when he was hurt in Australia’s final warm-up clash against Oman.
Hibs boss Neil Lennon was keeping his fingers crossed that the damage was not severe but doctors have now told the Easter Road manager Boyle will not be back in action before the summer.
It is a major blow for the Leith boss, who was so impressed by the wideman’s displays that he tipped off Arnold about his family links Down Under.
Confirming the news in a tweet, Hibs announced: “The knee injury sustained by Martin Boyle on international duty is, unfortunately, likely to keep him out for the rest of the season.
“Martin underwent surgery this morning and we look forward to seeing him back in action for pre-season.”
Boyle added in an Instagram post: “Gutted to learn my season is over but the operation was a success and was the best solution for me to extend my playing career over time.
“Will do everything I can to come back fitter & stronger and continue to help the team on the field. Thanks for all your messages, they’re much appreciated.”
Boyle has made 21 appearances for his club this season, scoring four goals.
Lennon is now expected to step up his pursuit of Celtic’s Lewis Morgan and Sporting Lisbon ace Ryan Gauld as he looks for extra attacking cover.