Australian soccer’s player of the year, Robbie Kruse, has been urged not to try and salvage his World Cup by seeking a radical knee reconstruction.
Kruse, the Socceroos’ attacking linchpin, will have surgery within days after tearing ligaments in his left knee.
The injury will rule him out of the World Cup in Brazil in June, dealing a severe blow to Kruse and Australia’s campaign.
The 25-year-old has been cautioned against opting for the radical ligament augmentation and reconstruction system (LARS) surgery.
A LARS operation could have the dynamic attacker playing again in three months but is considered risky given its unproven long-term effects.
“It would be silly,” ex-Socceroo Robbie Slater told Fox Sports.
“And I don’t think his advisers or his club would allow him to take such a risk.”
Kruse tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while training with his German club Bayer Leverkusen.
“The Australian international picked up the injury on Friday at training, an MRI scan showed the worst results,” Leverkusen said in a statement.
“Kruse is due to undergo an operation by the middle of the week.”
The Brisbane-born Kruse will need a knee reconstruction, which if performed by traditional surgical methods requires about 12 months on the sidelines.
The LARS surgery, in which synthetics are used to replace the damaged ligament, has been used by several Australian sportsmen – most notably by AFL player Nick Malceski, who played again just 86 days after surgery.
Australia must nominate a 23-man squad for the World Cup on June 2, some 11 days before its opening match against Chile.
Kruse, a dashing winger who this year won the Professional Footballers’ Australia footballer of the year award, was pivotal to the planning of new Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.
“No-one is irreplaceable … (but) you can’t underestimate how big a blow this is for the Socceroos, and the kid,” Slater said.
“He’s at the height of his career at Leverkusen.
“I have got no doubt he’ll come back from this but you feel sorry for anyone who is going to miss such a big tournament.”