Winger Martin Boyle expects it to be tough to break back into the Socceroos, but reveals he used his long injury layoff to keep sharp on manager Graham Arnold's tactics.
The 26-year-old has been called up for Australia's 2022 World Cup qualifier in Jordan this week, 10 months after tearing his lateral meniscus in Socceroos training before the Asian Cup.
Boyle initially recovered but then re-injured himself playing for his Scottish club Hibernian in July.
"It's been a gruelling year for me, from the start such a high to such a low so quick," he told AAP.
"But the hard work I've put in is all paying off again and I'm back."
Arnold is expected to avoid another injury by using the winger as an impact-sub in the last quarter of the game at 6pm on Thursday (3am, Friday AEDT).
Boyle says his injury layoff allowed him to follow Australia in the qualifiers and keep track of tactics, but admits it will be tough to break into the form team of Asia, who have scored 15 goals in three consecutive wins.
"Some of the time differences (of the matches) have come through training, so I've been sneaking out through my rehab to watch the games here," he laughed.
"I've been watching, studying.
"So in terms of playing it's not too different, in terms of me breaking into the squad it's going to be quite tough because of the last results.
"The guys have been scoring goals and performances have been good, so I just need to keep working hard as I've been doing, train well and hopefully catch the eye."
Boyle hopes his return will also serve to boost Hibernian after a lacklustre season in Scotland.
The Edinburgh side are eighth and just two points above the relegation zone, but the winger says it's not because they aren't playing well.
"The recent draws have been marginal. We've been leading in those games until, like, the 80th minute and then we've just been slack, individual errors have cost us," he said.
"That's been a bit frustrating. It's not like we haven't been playing well, we're just not getting what we deserve out of games."
Boyle also said it was a shame to see manager Paul Heckingbottom sacked last week as he had enjoyed training under him.
"I haven't played much under him but it was a shame to see him go. His vision for the the club, in my eyes, was exceptional," he said
"But if results don't go your way it's normally the manager who has to pay for it and us as players have to take that on the chin as well because we are part of the reason that a good man has lost a job."
Australian Associated Press