FIFA Women’s World Cup Sam Kerr fit to play against Canada Matildas

Star striker Sam Kerr has declared herself available to play in Australia’s must-win Women’s World Cup clash with Canada, after a calf injury ruled her out of the first two games of the Matildas’ group stage campaign.

The Chelsea forward was ruled out of Australia’s opening clash with Ireland at the eleventh hour, and also missed the Matildas’ shock loss to Nigeria earlier this week. These results have left the Matildas in a precarious position in Group B.

When asked if she was fit to play if selected she answered simply: “Yes.”

“It’s going to go down to the wire but I’m definitely going to be available but how we decide to use that is not to be given to the opposition,” she told media in Brisbane.

She put on her boots at training for the first time on Saturday morning and said she was excited to be back out on the pitch. Speaking for the first time about her injury, Kerr joked about the awful timing.

“It’s hilarious because I have the biggest calves in the world so I’m not sure why it decided to play up the day before the World Cup,” Kerr said.

“But that’s football, isn’t it? I’m going to be there. I’m going to be ready. And, like we said at the very start of [the injury], the plan was to miss the first two games and reassess and that’s where we are now.”

For Kerr it’s been an interesting 10 days on the sidelines with the shock of the injury and the timing causing disappointment. She admitted that she’s “not a good bench sitter” and has been much more nervous watching from the sidelines.

Kerr also counted herself lucky that for the most part this was a small injury, referencing what looks to be an ACL tear suffered by English midfielder Keira Walsh on Friday night.

“I’ve never had an injury like this in my career. I mean touch wood this is the last [one], but normally when I’ve been injured it’s been really a big one where I’ve been out for months on end.”

“So it’s kind of an easy pill to swallow, but I think with these ones it’s a bit more annoying. It was obviously disappointing and then I had to kind of suck it up. I’m part of a team. I’m not a part of an individual sport, it’s not about me and that’s what I’ve done over the last however many days; I’ve had to put the team first.

The skipper said she has “done everything under the sun” to make sure she is ready and said fans in Melbourne would bring the noise for what is a must-win encounter for the tournament hosts.

The Matildas could also welcome back fellow striker Mary Fowler and defender Aivi Luik from concussion, with a definite call to be made on their availability in the next two days.

Australia must take maximum points against Canada if they are to have any chance of progressing out of the group.

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