All Whites captain Winston Reid has been ruled out of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against the Solomon Islands due to an ankle injury.
The 28-year-old, who has played 21 internationals for New Zealand, suffered the injury in the warm up for West Ham United in their Premier League game on the weekend against Southampton.
Reid was stretchered off the field and West Ham United have confirmed that the world-class centre back has been ruled out of this weekend and also the international window. The length of his absence is yet to be determined.
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson was once again very disappointed to lose Reid for the OFC Final Stage of Qualifying against the Solomon Islands.
“He’s been through a tough period with regards to injury and I know he’s incredibly frustrated not to be playing for his club and for his country,” said Hudson. “But we wish him a quick recovery and hope to see him back with us in our next games.”
The injury continues a frustrating run for Reid who has missed the last three FIFA international windows for the All Whites through injury.
Hudson is hopeful Reid will be fit again for the Intercontinental Playoff in November against the fifth-placed South American side if the All Whites qualify for those matches.
The head coach remains confident he has the depth in his squad to be able to defeat Solomon Islands both home and away to reach the Intercontinental Playoff in November.
“I have always said that we need to have a squad that is bigger than just one player and that is what we have now. If we lose one of our key players ahead of a qualifier we are not in a bad position. We have lost a world-class footballer, however I know that we have the quality within the squad to get the job done.”
Chris Wood will captain the All Whites in Reid’s absence. A replacement for Reid will be announced this week.
The All Whites assemble on Sunday in Auckland as they prepare to face the Solomon Islands on 1 September at QBE Stadium.
OFC Final Stage – FIFA World Cup Qualifier
New Zealand v Solomon Islands
QBE Stadium, Auckland
Friday 1 September
Kick-off: 7.35pm (local time)
For tickets click here
Solomon Islands v New Zealand
Lawson Tama Stadium, Honiara
Tuesday 5 September
Kick-off: 2pm (local time)