Australia have been hit with the blow that Robbie Kruse has sustained a a serious knee injury and will be racing against time to be fit for the World Cup.
Bayer Leverkusen winger Kruse is expected to miss the rest of the domestic season after he sustained a cruciate ligament injury in training.
Kruse has won 28 caps for his country and, in an impressive season for Leverkusen, he has made 15 appearances, scoring twice.
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou told the Australian FA website: "It is a tough break for Robbie, who was playing some great football and was certainly a massive part of our plans for the World Cup.
"I heard last night and my primary concern is for Robbie as a player because he's been denied the opportunity to represent his country at the highest level at the biggest sporting event in the world later this year.
"One positive is the fact he is young and I know he'll work hard on his recovery and come back a better player."