Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has revealed winger Martin Boyle was one of the keys of his AFC Asian Cup plans.
Boyle's season with Scottish Premiership club Hibernian is over after having surgery in Scotland on the injured knee which ruled him out of Australia's continental title defence.
On the eve of Australia's second Group B match with Palestine in Dubai, Arnold said he'd hoped to frame his tournament around the attacking talents of Boyle and youngster Daniel Arzani.
"I don't want to reflect too much on it, but Martin was one of the keys to this tournament - him and young Daniel Arzani, because of their individual quality that they have in a one-v-one situation against teams that play with a packed defence," Arnold said.
"Martin had the operation last night, Martin is recovering, we've been in touch with him, he's in good spirits and we expect him to have a great recovery at Hibs and we'll see him back with the Socceroos soon."
Australia are likely to begin their qualification campaign for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in September, when Boyle and Arzani - who tore an ACL while playing for Celtic in November - should both be available.
Arnold's immediate concern, however, is getting the Socceroos' Asian Cup campaign back on track after their shock loss to Jordan.
Jordan have all but confirmed top spot in Group B with a 2-0 win over Syria in Al Ain.
A win over Palestine would lift Arnold's men into second in the group heading into their final group game against Syria in Al Ain.