SYDNEY (AP) Australia defender Brad Smith has been ruled out of a friendly international against Brazil and the Confederations Cup after injuring his hamstring in a World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia.
Football Federation Australia on Sunday said Smith’s place in the squad will be taken by Alex Gersbach, who will join the team in Russia.
Smith plays for Bournemouth in the English Premier League.
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou says “it is not a serious injury, but the recovery time required for Brad to get back onto the pitch made it difficult for him to be ready for the bulk of this period … he is better off returning to the U.K. to start his rehab.”
Smith was replaced at halftime in Australia’s 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia last week. The Socceroos will play Brazil in Melbourne on Tuesday and then head to Europe, where they start their Confederations Cup campaign against Germany on June 19 at Sochi.