Culina out with knee injury
© AFP

Australia midfielder Jason Culina will miss his country's AFC Asian Cup semi-final against Uzbekistan after being pulled out of the squad for treatment on a knee injury.

The Gold Coast United star, who played the Socceroos' first two games but missed the final group fixture and yesterday's quarter-final with Iraq, will not be replaced in line with Asian Football Confederation regulations.

"We had hopes that Jason may be available for the upcoming matches, but the latest medical reports suggested that he would not be at 100 per cent," said coach Holger Osieck. "Following discussions with our medical staff we have come to the decision that it is in Jason's best interest that we let him return home to receive treatment to get his knee right.

Following discussions with our medical staff we have come to the decision that it is in Jason's best interest that we let him return home to receive treatment to get his knee right.
Holger Osieck, Australia coach

"It's always disappointing to lose a player of Jason's calibre, but the players and staff are fully supportive of Jason and we look forward to seeing him back with us as soon as possible."

Culina expressed his disappointment at having to leave. "Obviously it is extremely disappointing to leave the boys at this time of the tournament," said the 30-year-old former PSV Eindhoven player. "Unfortunately, I knew that I wouldn't be at my best for the remainder of the competition."

Australia will play Uzbekistan at Khalifa Stadium on Tuesday after Harry Kewell's last-gasp goal sealed a 1-0 win over reigning champions Iraq.