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Australia’s Begbie out of Olympics with ACL injury

[img_assist|nid=3574|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=180|height=180]A key defender in the Australian men’s hockey team has been sidelined with a season-ending ACL injury in London.

Kookaburras 2010 player of the year, Graeme Begbie, was playing in a practice match against India on the eve on the London VISA International Invitational Hockey Tournament yesterday, when he twisted his knee in the opening five minutes of the match.

Playing full-back, the West Australian was attempting to shut down an Indian attacker when he fell and doctors confirmed today that his Olympic campaign was over.

For more than a decade, Begbie has been plagued by trouble with his left knee and underwent surgery to have it reconstructed last year.

After the surgery, he fought his way back to full fitness and was a leading contender to be selected in the Olympic team.

Begbie said he was devastated that now his good knee, the right, had succumbed to the same injury.

Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth and the team are supporting Begbie as best they can during this cruel blow to their journey towards London.

The 26 year old has played 53 internationals, debuting for the Kookaburras in 2009 and this would have been his first Games.

West Australian defender Kiel Brown will fly from Perth to London to replace Begbie and will play in the test games against Belgium and Germany in the second week of the tour.

Kookaburras midfielder Jonathon Charlesworth has also been ruled out of the London test event with a hip injury and Matthew Swann has replaced him.

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