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Leckie injury rocks Socceroos as Asian Cup fast approaches

09:00 GMT+3 23/12/2018
Mathew Leckie Thailand v Australia World Cup qualifying 16112016
The German-based attacker exited the game in second half and it doesn't look good for the green and gold

Socceroos winger Mathew Leckie could miss matches during the Asian Cup after suffering an injury playing for Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.

The 27-year-old came from the field in the 54th minute of the German capital club's 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, with reports suggesting he had suffered a hamstring injury.

Hertha are yet to release any details on the issue or its severity but Australia's Asian Cup title defence in the UAE begins against Jordan on January 6.

A report from German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost suggested Leckie had torn his hamstring but did not detail the severity of the problem.

Even a minor hamstring strain would likely keep Leckie out of the first match while a partial tear in the muscle would see him only available for the knockout phase of the tournament.

The worst case scenario for the green and gold is a grade three tear in the area which would likely end the Melbourne-born forward's hopes of playing at the Asian Cup.

Leckie's fitness must be of huge concern to Socceroos coach Graham Arnold, who is also dealing with the prospect of being without playmaker Aaron Mooy for the tournament.

National team physio Phil Coles is currently assessing Mooy's injury at Premier League club Huddersfield, and may have to make a trip to Berlin to visit Leckie on the way back to Australia.

If Leckie was forced to withdraw from the squad, it would be likely previous squad train-on players Craig Goodwin and Dimi Petratros or Dutch-based attacker Ajdin Hrustic would be called in as replacements.

His absence would also give fringe Socceroos wingers Awer Mabil and Chris Ikonomidis an opportunity for an unlikely start at the tournament.

After the opening Jordan match, Australia will face Palestine on January 11 and Syria five days later before the knockout stages start on January 20.

The team will be hoping to qualify for the tournament's final to be played in Abu Dhabi on February 1.