Kewell keen to prove fitness
Australia international Harry Kewell is eager to prove his fitness in time for the World Cup in South Africa.
Last Updated: 10/05/10 10:53am
Australia international Harry Kewell is eager to prove his fitness in time for the World Cup finals in South Africa.
The Galatasaray forward has struggled to play regular football at the Turkish club this season following groin surgery.
A recent setback only added to concerns over the 31-year-old's chances of being fit for the start of the tournament in June, with Galatasaray assistant coach Johan Neeskens suggesting the former Leeds man could miss out.
Kewell has admitted he is still not 100 per cent fit, but believes there is still enough time for him to recover.
"It (the injury) is still there a little bit so we're taking precautions now," Kewell told News Limited.
"The plan is to train this week and see how I cope. If I don't play, then it's not meant to be. I'm still resting these old legs.
"There are still a few more games (for Australia) before the World Cup."
Should Kewell fail to regain fitness in time for the beginning of their Group D campaign then manager Pim Verbeek could be shy of attacking options.
The Socceroos can take solace from the form of Josh Kennedy, who has hit a purple patch in recent weeks for J-League side Nagoya Grampus.
But Kewell is still regarded as the focal point of their attack and team-mate Jason Culina reckons he is still a threat regardless of whether the front man is at full fitness or not.
Culina said: "Harry is a great player and he has shown over the years how good he actually is and whether it's 75, 90 or 100 per cent, Harry will always contribute to the team. But even if he is at 75 per cent, I think he's still a great asset to the team.
"He's always working extremely hard and he is one of those players who is always in the gym and doing his best to be out on the park and that's why he's such a good player.
"I think he'll be right this little setback is I think only short term, and hopefully he'll be there against New Zealand and the friendly match after that."