WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – New Zealand captain Ryan Nelsen will miss the international friendly against China in Shanghai on Thursday because of ankle and knee injuries.
New Zealand Football high performance manager Fred de Jong confirmed the Queen's Park Rangers defender's withdrawal on Tuesday, saying the injuries were being carefully managed by his club's medical staff.
The match against China has been scheduled to bridge a gap between New Zealand's World Cup qualifying rounds in the Oceania region.
De Jong says Nelsen ''is a key asset to our campaign to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil. Ryan is 35 years old and we want to do all we can to make sure he is fit to play in our World Cup qualifiers in March and again in November next year if necessary.''