All White captain Winston Reid to miss Confederations Cup with knee injury
The All Whites won't have the services of captain Winston Reid for the Confederations Cup in June and July.
Reid has been ruled out of the tournament in Russia with a knee injury, which has been causing him grief the past six weeks.
The 28-year-old, who has only played 21 internationals for New Zealand since debuting in 2010, has a bone growth (calcification) in his left knee, which has been limiting him to one training a week with English Premier League club West Ham United.
Reid had hoped it would come right, but has since had an operation to remove the growth from his knee, with an expected recovery time of eight to 12 weeks.
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"Obviously I'm really disappointed to be missing the Confederations Cup, but if I had gone there and played, it would not have got better," Reid said.
"If the Confederations Cup was nine or 10 days away, I'd probably have given it a go, but the fact it is another month away and it's not getting any better made my decision."
Reid said West Ham's medical staff tried different methods in a bid to improve the pain, but ultimately they had to opt for surgery.
"It's a really weird thing, a bit of extra bone that needed removing and it had been causing a lot of pain in that area every time I was running or kicking the ball. It's been a bit of a struggle for the last six weeks or so, so it's something that I had to get sorted," Reid said.
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson called Reid's injury "pretty significant", but was confident the defender would be fit for November's World Cup Intercontinental playoff, should the team qualify to play the fifth-placed South American side.
"It's not only disappointing for us but it is disappointing for him," Hudson said.
"I could hear in his voice how much he wanted to come. He has been in touch leading up to this tournament for so long and had friends and family coming over. It was a tournament that our captain wanted to be a part of, but not only be a part of but to do something significant, so I feel pretty bad for him."
Hudson said the blow reiterated why he made a point of creating squad depth when he took up the top job in 2014.
"I said when I started that we needed depth, so if we lose one of our key players ahead of a big tournament or a qualifier it doesn't hurt us," he said.
"We have lost our captain. However, we have a very strong squad now and it doesn't change anything, what we are planning to do, how we are going to prepare, our mind-set, I'm very optimistic."
Reid, who has missed the last two Fifa international windows due to injury, will be replaced as captain by striker Chris Wood.
The Confederations Cup runs from June 17 to July 2.