LINGERING INJURY: Key defender Trent Sainsbury is in doubt for Australia's next round of World Cup qualifiers
LINGERING INJURY: Key defender Trent Sainsbury is in doubt for Australia's next round of World Cup qualifiers Pavel Golovkin

Cloud over Sainsbury for World Cup qualifiers

SOCCEROOS defender Trent Sainsbury is in doubt for Australia's World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Thailand with a groin injury.

Sainsbury was a stand-out at the Confederations Cup in June and was playing a starring role against Chile before injury forced him off.

He has not played for his Chinese club Jiangsu Suning since.

Sainsbury's ongoing injury could force him out of the 23-man squad coach Ange Postecoglou names on Wednesday.

The central defender is a crucial cog in an unsettled defensive unit.

Matthew Spiranovic, playing in China's second division, hasn't featured for the Socceroos this year and has battled a quad injury of his own.

But now fit again, the Victorian could return for the clash with Japan in Saitama next Thursday.

Other options for Postecoglou include handing a surprise debut to South Korean-based Matthew Jurman, while Bailey Wright came on for Sainsbury against Chile.

News Corp Australia

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