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Joint NRL player of the year Johnathan Thurston has been ruled out of Australia's 2014 Four Nations campaign after suffering a shoulder injury.
Stand-off Thurston, 31, was a World Cup winner with the Kangaroos in 2013 and shared the Dally M medal this season with Parramatta full-back Jarryd Hayne.
He helped club side North Queensland Cowboys to the NRL finals before their elimination by Sydney Roosters.
"It was a really difficult decision to have to make," Thurston said.
"But in the end, the doctor really took it out of my hands.
"You never want to miss playing rep footy, and I'm very proud of my record in that area, but this time there's no other option."
Ben Hunt of the Broncos, Roosters' Mitchell Pearce, Raiders' Jack Wighton and Newcastle's Kurt Gidley could all deputise for Thurston, and the Kangaroos also have the option of including players from the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury Bulldogs such as Luke Keary.
Australia's final Four Nations squad will be announced on 12 October.
Coach Tim Sheens will also be without full-back Billy Slater (shoulder), wingers Darius Boyd (depression) and Brett Morris (shoulder), props Matt Scott (shoulder), Nate Myles (biceps) and Paul Gallen (drugs ban) and lock James Tamou (neck) for the series.
Australia training squad
Ben Hunt, Corey Parker, Josh McGuire, Sam Thaiday (Broncos), Gavin Cooper, Matt Scott, Michael Morgan (Cowboys), Jarryd Hayne (Eels), Beau Scott, Kurt Gidley, Willie Mason (Knights), Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Adam Docker (Panthers), Anthony Milford, Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker, Josh Papalii (Raiders), Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner, Aidan Guerra, Jake Friend, Dylan Napa (Roosters), Anthony Watmough, Brenton Lawrence, Daly Cherry Evans (Sea Eagles), Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hoffman, William Chambers (Storm), Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (Tigers), Greg Bird (Titans), Jacob Lillyman (Warriors).