Melbourne City confirm devastating Mathew Leckie injury blow ahead of Asian Cup

Melbourne City take on Central Coast Mariners in round 8 of the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Melbourne City star Mathew Leckie is expected to miss the next four-six weeks after suffering a hamstring tear, all but ending his AFC Asian Cup hopes with the Socceroos.

The news was confirmed on Friday after Leckie hurt his hamstring in the second half of City’s 1-1 AFC Champions League draw against Zhejiang Professional FC on Tuesday.

He had only returned from a serious knee injury in the 3-3 Champions League draw away to Ventforet Kofu on November 29, but is now facing another extended stint on the sidelines in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

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The 32-year-old forward, who will be sidelined for key A-Leagues fixtures – including Sunday’s Grand Final rematch against Central Coast Mariners and the Melbourne Derby on December 23, looks set to miss next month’s Asian Cup in Qatar.

“Very disappointing for Lecks and the team,” City head coach Aurelio Vidmar told reporters.

“It’s a big, big blow for us but we just wish him a speedy recovery. It’s not an easy one and to be honest it was a little bit innocuous, he wasn’t even sprinting. He was almost standing still and ready to turn and he felt something.

“Unfortunately for the national team as well, it’s not good but it is what it is.

It’s a little bit hard to take because he’s done a hell of a lot of work after the knee injury, getting himself into a pretty good condition. We sort of eased him in that game against Kofu and gave him 30 odd minutes against Newcastle and then started him against Perth.

“He was actually building momentum in terms of match fitness.”

Graham Arnold’s Australia kick-off their Asian Cup Group B campaign against India on January 13.

The Socceroos will also face Syria (January 18) and Uzbekistan (January 23).