Sheffield Wednesday: Owls midfielder pulls out of international squad with knee injury

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Sheffield Wednesday man of the hour Massimo Luongo has pulled out of the latest Australia squad set to take on Nepal with a ‘minor’ knee injury.

The 27-year-old, who 43 caps for the Socceroos, scored the only goal in his first league start for Wednesday against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

But it has come to light that he suffered a knock to his knee before being replaced by Kieran Lee after 75 minutes.

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The Star understands the injury is not considered serious and that he will be fit for Wednesday’s clash at Cardiff next week.

Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold told Australian media yesterday: “Massimo (Luongo) pulled up sore after coming off in last night’s game and due to the short turnaround between now and Thursday’s match, combined with the long-haul flight from Europe, we have decided not to take any risks with him.”

Luongo didn’t travel for Australia’s last two meetings, a friendly against South Korea in August and a World Cup qualifier against Kuwait last month.

The decision will give Luongo time to recover at Wednesday’s Middlewood Road base and also take advantage of the time Garry Monk has with an almost complete squad as the Owls look to extend a run of form that has seen them to eighth place in the Championship.

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The Australian, who signed for the Owls for £1m from QPR in August, has been replaced in the international squad by Dmitri Petratos, a midfielder contracted to the Newcastle Jets in Australia’s A-League.