The Socceroos will have to begin the next step of their World Cup qualifying without key attacker Mathew Leckie, who has taken a hiatus from the national team.
Socceroos star Mathew Leckie is taking a hiatus from the national team, unwilling to endure repeated quarantine periods.
Leckie has reportedly informed coach Graham Arnold he is unavailable for Australia's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against China and Vietnam.
The Socceroos begin the third stage of World Cup qualifying against China in Qatar on Thursday, having been forced to play in a neutral venue due to Australia's quarantine requirements on all arrivals from overseas.
It seems unlikely Leckie, who captained Australia during the most recent qualifiers in Kuwait earlier this year, will also be available for further qualifiers in October and November unless Football Australia is able to get clearances to play the matches on home soil.
After several years in Germany, Leckie recently returned to Australia to join A-League champions Melbourne City and the 31-year-old is focused on settling his family into their new home over being away for long periods.
"We just arrived back from Germany," Leckie told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"We just tried to settle in, there's a lot to do and I just wouldn't be able to leave my family alone.
"In terms of rules about travelling overseas, quarantine times and all that, it's a bit of a mystery ... at the moment, it's this (camp), then I will have to try and see where we're at next month."
Arnold is expected to name his squad to face China and Vietnam on Saturday and Leckie is unlikely to be the only absentee.
City teammate Jamie Maclaren is also unlikely to be picked given the quarantine restrictions, with fellow A-League based players such as Rhyan Grant, Chris Ikonomidis and Connor Metcalfe among those who may also be unwilling to travel.