Surgery on Australia international Matthew Spiranovic's injured ankle has been labelled a success by his club coach.
Spiranovic started all three of Australia's matches at the World Cup and returned to Western Sydney Wanderers "very eager" for his second season with the A-League club.
But a week ago, the Wanderers identified a problem with one of the central defender's ankles and decided surgery was necessary, sidelining Spiranovic for 10 weeks.
In more positive news on Tuesday, however, Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic claimed the 26-year-old will return "bigger and better".
"He (Spiranovic) had his operation yesterday and it's all gone very well," Popovic told footballaustralia.com.au on Tuesday.
"Now it's the recovery phase for him. I'm sure he'll be back bigger and better once he heals from the injury.
"He had a fantastic World Cup. He came back very eager and keen to get back with the Wanderers in training with all the big games we've got coming up.
"Unfortunately these things happen in football. (Surgery) was necessary, it needed to be done but we will all benefit from the outcome once he gets over this injury."
Spiranovic will miss the Wanderers' upcoming AFC Champions League quarter-final versus Guangzhou Evergrande next month, while he may find it difficult to be fully fit for Western Sydney's first match of the new A-League season on October 10.
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