Former Central Coast Mariners defender Kye Rowles has made a last-gasp bid for World Cup selection ahead of Tuesday’s announcement of the Socceroos’ 26-man squad for the tournament starting on November 20.

An unsung hero of Australia’s successful World Cup playoffs campaign in June, Rowles’ hopes of going to the World Cup were severely jeopardised when he broke his foot playing for his Scottish club Hearts on August 28.

However, early on Monday morning (AEDT), Rowles made his first appearance in more than two months, coming on as a late substitute in Hearts’ 3-2 win over Motherwell.

“It was great to be back out there with all of the boys,” Rowles told Hearts TV.

“It gives myself confidence that I can get through some minutes, so hopefully there’s a few more minutes to come this week as well.”

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold must decide whether there is enough room for both Rowles and towering defender Harry Souttar, who has only just returned after a knee reconstruction, in his World Cup squad.

Star playmaker Tom Rogic’s lack of football since leaving Celtic in May is another selection dilemma which Arnold needs to address.

Arnold must also make selection calls on teenage sensation Garang Kuol, who leaves for English Premier League club Newcastle in January, and his fellow Mariners attacker Jason Cummings.

Both have been superb this season but there may not be room for the two of them in Australia’s squad.

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