Jedinak omitted from Australia squad for clutch Japan, Thailand games
Ange Postecoglou has accepted the inevitable, excluding an unfit Mile Jedinak from his Australia squad for next week's two crunch World Cup qualifiers.
Postecoglou left the Asian Cup-winning captain out of his 23-man squad for Australia's final games of their qualifying group, against Japan (Aug. 31) and Thailand (Sept. 5).
Jedinak hasn't played for his club side Aston Villa since April as he nurses a long-running groin complaint.
His only outing in the last five months was to play through the pain barrier in Australia's 3-2 qualifying win over Saudi Arabia in June.
The 33-year-old didn't play for Villa in a cup match on Wednesday morning, which was effectively a fitness test for his national team.
Postecoglou, however, has selected defenders Trent Sainsbury and Brad Smith in his squad despite an absence of club football this season.
Sainsbury hasn't featured for Chinese side Jiangsu Suning, while Smith made his first appearance this morning for Bournemouth.
Postecoglou trimmed his extended squad of 30 to 23 on Wednesday, losing Jedinak, Riley McGree, Matthew Jurman, Adam Federici as well as Confederations Cup attendees Aziz Behich, Ajdin Hrustic and Jimmy Jeggo.
Matthew Spiranovic, Mustafa Amini, Awer Mabil and Smith are the new faces from Australia's Confederations Cup squad.
Dylan McGowan, who travelled to Russia in June, wasn't named in the 30-player group.
Gloveman Danny Vukovic and Mabil are the only uncapped players in the squad.
Australia requires four points from the two matches -- in Tokyo and Melbourne -- to guarantee attendance at the World Cup.
Anything less and the Socceroos are likely to finish third in the group and must confront a pair of two-legged matches -- against an Asian team before a CONCACAF team -- to return to Russia.
Goalkeepers: Mitchell Langerak (Stuttgart, Germany), Mathew Ryan (Brighton, England), Daniel Vukovic (Genk, Belgium).
Defenders: Milos Degenek (Yokohama Marinos, Japan), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg, Norway), Ryan McGowan (Al Sharjah, UAE), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning, China), Brad Smith (Bournemouth, England), Matthew Spiranovic (Hangzhou, China), Bailey Wright (Bristol City, England).
Midfielder: Mustafa Amini (AGF, Denmark), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion, England), Massimo Luongo (QPR, England), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town, England), Tom Rogic (Celtic, Scotland), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory).
Forwards: Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (Luzern, Switzerland), Robbie Kruse (Bochum, Germany), Mathew Leckie (Hertha, Germany), Awer Mabil (Pacos de Ferreira, Portugal), Jamie Maclaren (Darmstadt, Germany).