All Whites skipper Winston Reid out of World Cup qualifier v Fiji through injury
All Whites defender Winston Reid and forward Monty Patterson have been ruled out of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Fiji.
Reid, a West Ham United defender, limped off the field in the 18th minute in the team's 3-2 loss to Leicester City on Sunday morning (NZ time). He will miss the home and away qualifiers with an abductor injury.
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson spoke with Reid briefly following the game.
"It looks like he has injured his groin," Hudson said. "He will have a scan [Monday NZ time] but it looked bad."
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Hudson will not replace Reid in the squad and said in-form striker Chris Wood will captain the side in Reid's absence.
"It's disappointing he is not coming because he is such an important player, he is a great character and I know how much he was looking forward to being here. I hope he gets fit really soon.
"But with regards to the team we have been in this position many times. We have got a good squad, we are adaptable and we have enough in this squad to deal with this tour so we are prepared for this," Hudson said.
Meanwhile, Patterson has failed to overcome a hamstring injury and will also miss the tour.
The 20-year-old, who plays for Ipswich Town FC in the Championship, will be replaced by Alex Rufer in the squad for the OFC Stage Three Qualifiers.
Rufer, an attacking midfielder from the Wellington Phoenix, has earned two international caps since making his debut for New Zealand back in 2015.
Hudson said it was a shame for Patterson, who has developed well in recent time, including scoring his maiden international goal against the USA last October.
The All Whites have begun assembling in Wellington for a four-day training camp ahead of facing Fiji on 25 March in Lautoka. The return home leg is in Wellington on Tuesday 28 March.