Jamie Maclaren has been recalled to Australia’s World Cup squad amid concerns over the fitness of his fellow forward Tomi Juric.
The 24-year-old, who was left out of Bert van Marwijk’s preliminary squad despite a strong finish to the season with Hibs, has been on holiday but now has a chance to secure a place in Australia’s World Cup squad.
Football Federation Australia confirmed that the SV Darmstadt striker, who spent the second half of the season on loan at Easter Road, had been brought back into the fold with Juric’s World Cup hopes looking bleak.
Maclaren is understood to have already joined up with his international team mates in Turkey, and has four days of training and one friendly match against the Czech Republic to convince van Marwijk to take him to Russia.
The 6ft 3in Juric, who has netted eight goals in 34 international appearances, has been struggling with a knee injury, van Marwijk said.
The Socceroos head coach added: “Tomi is being monitored by our medical team. We hope he will be able to train and play this week, but his recovery might take longer.
“That’s why we have decided to bring in Jamie Maclaren now, so that he has a fair chance to display his qualities before the final squad is announced.”
Juric has started seven of Australia’s last 11 matches, appearing as a substitute in the other four, but hasn’t kicked a ball in over a month through injury and missed the last five games for club side Luzern, in Switzerland.
Maclaren, meanwhile, has made just five appearances for his country but now has a chance to force van Marwijk into a rethink.
Australia must submit their final 23-man squad by June 4.