Chris Wood is flying home for an assessment by Leeds United after injury ruled him out of New Zealand’s second World Cup qualifier with Fiji.
The 27-goal striker missed today’s international fixture in Wellington with a knock sustained in New Zealand’s 2-0 win over Fiji on Saturday.
Wood was hurt by a heavy challenge towards the end of that victory - a game in which he scored - and was sent back to England as the All Whites prepared to continue their qualifying campaign.
Leeds now face an anxious wait to discover if their top scorer will be fit for Saturday’s trip to Championship promotion rivals Reading.
The Elland Road club are within touching distance of qualifying for the play-offs with eight games to go and Wood has aided a fine season with 24 goals in league fixtures.
He was shortlisted for the Championship’s player-of-the-year award yesterday.
New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson appeared to rule out any suggestion that Wood had suffered a significant problem, saying: “Chris's injury is not too serious but I've decided to be extra cautious.
“It’s important that we have a fit and healthy Chris Wood for the FIFA Confederations Cup and qualifiers late in the year.”
United have had several players absent on international duty in the past week but the remainder of them appear to have emerged unscathed.
Defender Pontus Jansson started Sweden’s 4-0 victory against Belarus on Saturday while winger Stuart Dallas was used in Northern Ireland’s win over Norway the following night.
Midfielder Eunan O’Kane did not feature in the Republic of Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Wales last week but could play some part in a friendly with Iceland in Dublin tonight.
On-loan Swansea winger Mo Barrow scored in Gambia’s 2-1 win over the Central African Republic on Monday.