The injury saw the Socceroos veteran scratched from Saturday night’s loss to 0-1 loss to South Korea, a result which cost the Aussies top spot in Group A, however the Crystal Palace captain has now been declared fit by coach Ange Postecoglou for Thursday’s do-or-die clash with China at Brisbane Stadium.
“Mile will be right … he will be fine,” Postecoglou said on Tuesday.
“It will be tough for the other team to deal with, knowing that our captain is back,” teammate Mathew Leckie added.
“He’s a strong presence in the midfield, he breaks down a lot of play and I think it will be a massive boost for all of us.
“He has done so well this year and I’m sure the opposition will know that as well. So when they see him coming back, they will be worried.”
The Socceroos will have to deal with the loss of centre-back Matthew Spiranovic, suspended for the match for receiving a second yellow card.
“From a personal point of view, it is disappointing,” Spiranovic said. “But that’s football and I’m sure the boys will do the job in the next game and get us to the semis.”
Alex Wilkinson will become at least the 19th Socceroo to see Asian Cup action across four matches when he replaces Spiranovic on Thursday night while the combination of Leckie, Tim Cahill and Robbie Kruse is likely to feature from the get-go after the trio started from the pine against South Korea.
Should the Socceroos pass China, a likely semi-final matchup with Japan awaits.
Photo: William West/Getty Images.