Australia coach Pim Verbeek has labelled the loss of Blackburn midfielder Brett Emerton for the five remaining World Cup qualifiers as a ''terrible'' blow.
Emerton faces the prospect of spending the rest of the season on the sidelines after sustaining a serious knee injury in last weekend's goalless Barclays Premier League draw at Middlesbrough.
''First of all it's terrible for him and second of course for his club - and last but not least of course for us,'' Verbeek said.
''Of course it's a loss but in my year here in Australia so far we've always had those kinds of problems but this is a bad injury.
''It's clear that he will be out until next season starts. As far as I know Brett is coming back to Australia in a few weeks to get his operation over here and will have part of his recovery in Australia and the final part will be done with his club.
''So it's bad - bad for him and bad for us.''
While conceding Emerton is almost irreplaceable, Verbeek is confident he can find a solution in the coming months.
''Okay we don't have players with the same qualities, that's clear - we don't have a second Brett Emerton available,'' he added.
''So we have to fill it in with other players with other qualities so that's what we're going to do.
''And don't ask me what I'm going to do yet because as always I will wait until after the weekend. I will have plan A, B, C and D ready for what going to happen so it still looks good.''