Al Ain: Head coach Graham Arnold has confirmed that Hertha BSC attacker Mathew Leckie will remain with the Australian squad at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 after making great progress on his hamstring injury with the help and guidance of the Socceroos’ medical team over the past 10 days.
Leckie was one of the first players to arrive in camp in the United Arab Emirates, and together with the Socceroos’ medical team and coaching staff, quickly put a plan in place to achieve progress on his injury.
Australia’s staff, led by Arnold, are confident that Leckie will be able to play an important role for the Socceroos at the tournament.
Leckie said: “First and foremost I had to get the scan done to see if there was a chance [to play to the tournament] and once there was I was straight over here and sat down with the physios, with ‘Colesy’ [Phil Coles], and set up a plan going forward. We are working really hard with the training sessions, taking it step by step, not rushing things, and so far the progress has been great.”
“I haven’t really torn a muscle like this in my hamstring, at least this bad, before. So, the process is all new to me. It started off just jogging and seeing how it goes and there’s improvement and the pain is going away.
“We are up to a pretty good [running] speed now, 25 kilometres an hour, a few run throughs and change of direction. It is just taking it day by day and stepping it up with sharper exercises, more speed.”
“I am very thankful that they [the coaching staff] have given me the opportunity. It is a decision that they had to make, and I am sure that it is not an easy one. I am blessed to have the opportunity and I will be giving everything to be back.”
The Socceroos open their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group B campaign against Jordan at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Sunday.
Source : Asian Football Confederation Website