Australia will be without experienced pair Harry Kewell and Vince Grella for next week's 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Qatar in Brisbane.
Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek on Tuesday trimmed his squad from an initial 35 players to 28 with Kewell, Grella and Mark Bresciano all missing through injury. Although Kewell was left out of the squad, Verbeek said the Turkey-based attacker still had an outside chance of overcoming a groin strain to play next week.
"At this moment, it's pretty much about 10 per cent, but 10 per cent is still a possibility," Verbeek said of Kewell.
Blackburn Rovers' defensive midfielder Grella has a calf muscle strain and Bresciano limped out of his club Palermo's 2-1 win over Juventus in Italy's Serie A last weekend. But Verbeek still has 19 overseas-based players in his squad, including English Premier League stars Tim Cahill, Lucas Neill, Brett Emerton and Mark Schwarzer.
Verbeek has included Queensland Roar central defender Craig Moore, who has come out of retirement from playing international football. The availability of strikers Josh Kennedy and Scott McDonald gives Verbeek more attacking options than he had for Australia's opening Asian group game against Uzbekistan, which they won 1-0 in Tashkent last month.
McDonald returns to the Socceroos squad for the 15 October qualifier, fresh from scoring for Celtic in their 4-0 defeat of Hamilton in the Scottish Premier League last weekend.