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Canberra United's Ashleigh Sykes back in Matildas fold

Canberra United midfielder Ashleigh Sykes has earned a late call-up to the Matildas' qualifying tournament in Japan as a replacement for Larissa Crummer, who has withdrawn with a knee injury.

Despite ruling out a Matildas return just a week ago, Sykes will take the Melbourne City forward's place.

Sykes, who has played for Australia 16 times and was part of last year's World Cup squad, is already in Japan as she prepares for a stint with AS Harima Albion.

"Larissa [Crummer] suffered a knock to her knee going for a header during the first half of our training game last night and after scans this morning and consultation with the medical staff, unfortunately she won't be available for the qualifying tournament," Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic said. 

"It's really disappointing news for Larissa because she had a great W-League season and has been looking really good at training leading up to this tournament. 

"Ash Sykes will now come into the squad and with the great form she showed in the W-League, we're confident she will add another dimension to our attack."

The Matildas will play five games in 10 days starting with Japan on February 29, and must finish top two to qualify for Rio.