Harry Kewell will return from Turkish club football to have a hernia operation in Australia, national team coach Pim Verbeek has said.

Verbeek said the former Liverpool star broke a toe and tore an abdominal muscle last month playing for Galatasaray. Kewell, who has scored eight goals in 16 appearances for Galatasaray, has been in outstanding form for the Turkish giants this season.

"Harry rang me last night and told me he will be returning to Australia for the operation," Verbeek told reporters here. "It is not an urgent problem and he could have had it (the operation) in two or three months' time.

"However, with the winter break coming up in Turkey it makes it the right time to get the problem seen to. I don't know too much more but we will be in contact and I will know more information when the medical staff get the chance to examine him properly."

Dutchman Verbeek said he would spend the southern summer in Australia to monitor the progress of the home-based members of his squad ahead of the next FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Japan in Yokohama on 11 February.