Socceroos captain has been ruled out of the opening World Cup qualifier against Kuwait with a leg injury.
Socceroos skipper Mark Milligan has been ruled out of Tuesday's opening World Cup qualifier against Kuwait with a minor leg injury.
Coach Graham Arnold revealed on Monday that veteran defender Milligan had been sent back to his English club Southend United and replaced in the squad by Melbourne Victory youngster Thomas Deng ahead of the match in Kuwait City.
"We didn't want to take any risks with Mark so we arranged for him to travel back to his club for ongoing care," Arnold said.
Deng has been in camp with Australia's U-23 national team over the past week in Wollongong.
He made his Socceroos debut last year in Kuwait City where he replaced Josh Risdon in the second half of Australia's 4-0 international friendly win against Kuwait.
"Thomas was with us in October and November last year, and in June in Busan," said Arnold.
"He has now arrived in Kuwait and will provide a great defensive option for our squad."