Chris Wood of Leeds United
New Zealand have sent Chris Wood back to the UK ahead of schedule following an injury scare.
The Leeds United striker played and scored in the first leg of the All Whites' World Cup qualifying victory over Fiji last week, before suffering a heavy challenge from behind.
As a precaution, New Zealand boss Anthony Hudson has said he will not risk Wood for Tuesday's return fixture.
“Chris is obviously a significant player and leader for us so it is a blow, but we have a strong squad here and I am sure we have enough quality to get the result in Wellington tonight,” he told New Zealand Football.
“Chris’s injury is not too serious but I’ve decided to be extra cautious. It is important that we have a fit and healthy Chris Wood for the FIFA Confederations Cup and qualifiers late in the year.”
It remains to be seen whether Wood will be fit for Leeds' trip to promotion rivals Reading on Saturday.
The 25-year-old is the Championship's top scorer this season with 24 goals and is one of three players shortlisted to win this season's divisional player of the year award.
Despite Wood's fine form, Leeds are yet to lose a league game in which their top scorer hasn't started this campaign.
The Whites can go third with a win at fifth-placed Reading, as long as Huddersfield Town slip up at home to Burton Albion.
Have something to tell us about this article?