Australia defender Craig Moore has undergone surgery for testicular cancer and has been ruled out of next week's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier against Bahrain, Football Federation Australia has revealed. The Queensland Roar player had surgery in Brisbane yesterday, the FFA said after receiving confirmation from the 32-year-old's manager.
The news has rocked the Australian football fraternity and disrupted the Socceroos' preparations for their Asian Zone preliminary in Manama next Wednesday.
Moore, who returned from international retirement for his country's South Africa 2010 qualification campaign, is now under the care of a urologist who today told the player that the "outlook is good", according to his manager. Follow-up tests will be carried out in six weeks.
"The outlook is good," said Ian Hanson. "In six weeks further testing will be done - but I don't think we have seen the last of Craig Moore as a player."
Australia coach Pim Verbeek said he was shocked when he heard the news about Moore. "It's always a shock to hear of a diagnosis like this, but ," the Dutchman said.
I am encouraged by the prognosis from the medical practitioner. I speak for the entire team in wishing him a speedy recovery
FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said Australia's whole football community wished Moore all the best in his recovery from the operation. "I am sure that with Craig's legendary toughness, as well as the best of medical care, his age and his general level of health and fitness that Craig will respond well to treatment," he said.
Verbeek has had to make a total of three changes to the squad he announced on Monday, with Nuremberg defender Matthew Spiranovic and Blackburn Rovers midfielder Vince Grella withdrawing through injury. He has duly called up three Australian A-League players: defenders Jade North and Mark Milligan, and midfielder Mile Jedinak.
Grella injured a hamstring playing for Blackburn last weekend, while Spiranovic suffered an ankle injury during training yesterday.