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Lochhead Ruled Out Of All Whites Friendlies; Phoenix Season Affected

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Lochhead Ruled Out Of All Whites Friendlies; Phoenix Season Affected

Wellington, NZPA - A groin injury has ruled defender Tony Lochhead out of New Zealand's two home international soccer friendlies against Honduras and Paraguay next month.

Lochhead will see a specialist tomorrow about a torn left adductor, which may require surgery and could keep the Wellington Phoenix fullback out of action for between eight and 16 weeks.

That would sideline him from the All Whites' matches against Honduras in Auckland on October 9 and against Paraquay in Wellington three days later. It would also see him miss a large chunk of the Phoenix's A-League season.

The injury is not a recurrence of the groin injury Lochhead had surgery on prior to this year's World Cup but was still frustrating for the 37-cap defender who played every minute of the All Whites' unbeaten campaign in South Africa.

"It's always tough sitting on the sidelines but the important thing is to get myself right," Lochhead said in a statement.

"Playing for New Zealand is always special and these games have a little bit extra about them playing at home so close to the World Cup.

"We haven't had two teams of this calibre here for quite some time so it's frustrating to miss these two big fixtures."

Lochhead is the second World Cup All White to be ruled out of the two friendlies, through injury, with Rory Fallon recuperating from a hernia operation.

Coach Ricki Herbert will not call up a replacement for Lochhead, reducing his squad size to 20 players.

Yesterday, Herbert named the rest of his World Cup squad -- minus the retired Andy Barron and James Bannatyne -- for the matches against the fellow World Cup finalists.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Glen Moss, Mark Paston

Defenders: Andrew Boyens, Ryan Nelsen (captain), Winston Reid, Ben Sigmund, Tommy Smith, Ivan Vicelich

Midfielders: Leo Bertos, Jeremy Brockie, Tim Brown, Aaron Clapham, Jeremy Christie, Simon Elliott, Michael McGlinchey, David Mulligan, Cole Peverley

Forwards: Chris Killen, Shane Smeltz, Chris Wood

 

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