Kewell returns to the Socceroos fold
Socceroo superstar Harry Kewell has boosted his World Cup hopes by joining his teammates in a training session for the first time since his groin injury.
Kewell, who has been training solo for the past four days at the team's training camp at Mierlo, near Eindhoven, enjoyed a light-hearted two-hour session of ball-juggling and soccer volleyball with the rest of the Socceroos.
He did peel off from the squad for a 20-minute running session with conditioning coach Anthony Crea - his virtual shadow at his light training hitouts in Holland this week.
Then the Liverpool star rejoined the team for more activities - none anywhere near as serious as the heavy workload his teammates have endured in Mierlo since Saturday - and was one of the last to call it quits.
Kewell will not play for the Socceroos in their friendly against Holland on Sunday as he continues to recover from the injury he sustained playing for Liverpool in its FA Cup final victory nearly three weeks ago.
But he remains a slight chance of taking part in the final pre-World Cup hitout against Liechtenstein in Ulm, Germany, on June 7 ahead of the Socceroos' tournament opener against Japan in Kaiserslautern on June 12.
Japan's brave performance to post a 2-2 draw in a friendly against Germany on Tuesday hasn't shaken the Socceroos' confidence of being able to win a match pivotal to Australia's hopes of progressing in the World Cup.
The Japanese stunned the Germans to lead 2-0 in the match at Leverkusen, before two goals in the final 15 minutes put the home side back on level terms.
Of most interest to the Australians was the fact Germany was able to score both its goals from set pieces, aided by pedestrian Japanese marking.
"The Germans exploited the set pieces aerially, so that's something we looked at and we'll take it on board," Socceroos assistant coach Graham Arnold said.
"But you can't take everything as gospel in friendly matches either. (Japanese coach) Zico is obviously still trying to get the players to gel and work together.
"One thing is they're quite good going forward, but there are places defensively where we think we can exploit them."
The Socceroos train again at Mierlo on Thursday, then will travel two hours north of their base for a hastily arranged practice match against Dutch amateur team VV Kloetingen on Friday at Yerseke Village (EDS: SAT AM AEST).