Star Australian footballer Harry Kewell expects to return to training within a month following a hernia operation in Sydney, national team coach Pim Verbeek said on Wednesday.

The former Liverpool player injured himself last month playing for Turkish club Galatasaray, and returned home for the minor surgery. Dutchman Verbeek said the Socceroo was now resting in Sydney after the operation earlier this week. "Harry is fine and is aiming to start training again in three to four weeks' time," Verbeek said in a statement.

Kewell could have delayed the surgery, but decided to treat the problem because Galatasaray are already through to the latter stages of the UEFA Cup and the Turkish league is about to take a winter break. "Harry's a tough customer and is used to playing with, and through, injury over most of his career," Verbeek said. "But this is an injury that could be dealt with efficiently."

Kewell, who has scored eight goals in 16 appearances for Galatasaray, has been in outstanding form for the Turkish giants this season. Verbeek said Kewell was looking forward to playing for the Socceroos, who play their next Asian FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Japan in Yokohama on 11 February, as soon as possible.

"I know from talking to Harry that he is very happy with the medical treatment he has received and he is hoping to be on the park ahead of schedule," Verbeek said. Kewell is expected to return to Istanbul after spending the Christmas holidays with his family in Australia.