April 1 (Reuters) - Australia midfielder Tim Cahill will be out for two weeks after a hamstring injury proved less serious than thought, his club manager said, ending fears the injury could force him out of the World Cup.
The 34-year-old Cahill was forced off in the 29th minute of the New York Red Bulls’ Major League Soccer clash against Chivas USA at the weekend.
It was initially feared that he had torn his hamstring, which would have left him racing to be fit for the June 12-July 13 global showpiece.
Tests on Monday, however, confirmed it was only a strain and Red Bulls manager Mike Petke hoped to have him back in two weeks.
“What were looking at is a mild hamstring strain,” Petke told the team’s website (www.newyorkredbulls.com) on Tuesday.
”I could say that I hope to have him back in two weeks, but for now, it looks like he will be out next weekend with a hamstring strain.
”From the conversations I’ve had with our medical department, it is not a tear.
“It’s definitely a strain and with Tim we all know, you say he’ll be back in three weeks, he’ll be back in a week and a half, you say he’ll be back in six weeks, he’ll be back in four.”
The lack of serious injury will be welcome news to Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou as he finalises his squad ahead of the tournament in Brazil.
He is already missing forward Robbie Kruse, who damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in training with his Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, while defender Rhys Williams, who tore his Achilles while playing for English Championship (second tier) side Middlesbrough, is a serious doubt.
Australia open their Group B campaign against Chile on June 13 before facing 2010 finalists the Netherlands five days later and then world champions Spain on June 23. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Toby Davis)