Australia insist Cahill fit for World Cup

May 26, 2006

MELBOURNE, May 26 (Reuters) - Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has fully recovered from a knee injury and is clear to play in Australia's World Cup campaign, team officials said on Friday.

Cahill, 26, suffered ligament damage in a collision with Birmingham City's Damien Johnson in a Premier League match on April 22 and has not played competitively since.

He missed Australia's 1-0 win over Greece in a friendly on Thursday but is expected to reach full match fitness for the Socceroos' friendly against Holland in Rotterdam on June 4.

'Timmy is fine. He trained yesterday with the group that didn't play against Greece,' Australia's assistant coach Graham Arnold told reporters.

'He'll train fully as soon as we get to Holland.'

Australia's other major injury headache involves Liverpool's Harry Kewell, the only member of Guus Hiddink's 23-man squad not in Melbourne this week. Kewell was allowed to continue his recovery in England from a groin strain picked up in the FA Cup final.

'Reports back from our physiotherapist Arno Philips have been that he is coming along well,' Arnold said.

'We'll have to see how he is when we get there because he hasn't done anything physical with the team in the six days he's missed here.'

Striker John Aloisi, whose decisive shootout penalty against Uruguay in November saw Australia qualify for the finals, has also recovered from a foot injury that ruled him out of the Greece game.

Australia are in Group F at the World Cup finals with Japan, Brazil and Croatia.