THE Socceroos received a World Cup qualifying boost on Monday with Honduras striker Eddie Hernandez suffering a shocking injury that's expected to keep him out of the two-match playoff for Russia 2018.
Hernandez suffered a fractured cheekbone in a head clash playing for his club team Motagua.
He was hospitalised for a four hour facial surgery and there are reports he could be out of action for two months, missing the WCQ.
Various media reports said Hernandez was no chance of facing the Socceroos on November 11 and 15.
Hernandez told reporters from his hopital bed that he still held hopes of facing the Socceroos, perhaps wearing a protective mask.
"The doctor tells me there is still hope, depending on the surgery," Hernandez told reporters.
He clashed heads with Cae Fernandes of Marathon but said it was an accident.
"I feel calm but obviously it would hurt to miss the games with the national team but I have to thank my God because I'm still alive."
The injury has come as a blow to national coach Jorge Luis Pinto, who has called up Carlo Costly, a Honduran cult hero after scoring the team's only goal at the 2014 World Cup.
Pinto has rarely used Costly but admits injuries are forcing his hand.