13 Nov 2012

Nelsen ruled out of All Whites-China clash

8:21 am on 13 November 2012

The New Zealand football captain Ryan Nelsen has been ruled out of the side's match with China this week after picking up niggling knocks to his ankle and knee.

The 17-year-old Cameron Howieson has been called up to the squad and will travel from his Burnley home overnight to link up with the rest of the All Whites squad in Shanghai later tonight.

Nelsen and medical staff have been managing the injuries for the past month and he has not been training with his club Queens Park Rangers between matches in the English Premier League.

Last month the All Whites were criticised for calling in Winston Reid despite the West Ham defender's injuries meaning he could not play in the world cup qualifiers against Tahiti.

FIFA rules meant QPR didn't have to release Nelsen until 48 hours before the international friendly window and New Zealand Football's high performance director Fred de Jong says there wasn't enough time to get the captain ready.

De Jong says the Reid saga was different as it was during a window for official matches and players are relseased five days before.