Fringe Socceroo Kenny Dougall's 2019 Asian Cup hopes appear over after confirmation of ankle ligament damage which will rule him out for two months.
The 25-year-old midfielder had been part of Graham Arnold's first two Socceroos squads, after moving from the Netherlands to join English League One club Barnsley in the off-season.
Dougall had spent several years plying his trade in the Dutch Eredivisie with Sparta Rotterdam before heading to Yorkshire.
Brisbane-born Dougall was injured in a challenge last week in Barnsley's 3-1 loss to Shrewsbury and was seen in a protective boot on the sidelines for the Tykes' weekend game.
It had initially been speculated that Dougall would miss the remainder of the year.
FTBL understands scans have confirmed syndesmosis, which usually sidelines players for six to eight weeks.
Dougall told FTBL he won't require surgery and is hopeful of returning to action around the Christmas/New Year period.
Uncapped Dougall will definitely miss Australia's November friendlies against South Korea and Lebanon, hampering his Asian Cup aspirations.
Speaking about Dougall's return date, Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel said: "I think longer than this year."
Socceroos compatriot Jimmy Jeggo suffered syndesmosis in pre-season with Austria Vienna and returned to competitive action after eight weeks.
Australia's Asian Cup campaign begins on January 6 against Jordan.