Australia's first-choice left-back Scott Chipperfield has given their FIFA World Cup™ campaign a boost by declaring he is ready for his international comeback, reports said Friday.
The Swiss-based defender, who has 55 caps, is working his way back to fitness with an eye on Australia's opening match in the final Asian qualifying round against Uzbekistan in Tashkent on 10 September.
Chipperfield, 32, who played at the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany, last played for his country against Nigeria in London last year and has yet to play under new national coach Pim Verbeek. He has been sidelined since February with a foot injury, but returned to first-team action for Swiss champions FC Basel in this week's 1-0 win over Grasshopper Zurich.
The attacking left-back said he was ready to make a significant contribution to the difficult second phase of the Asian FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, in which Australia have been drawn with Qatar, Bahrain, Japan and Uzbekistan.
Chipperfield has targeted the friendly against the Netherlands in Eindhoven on 6 September, which will be used as the warm-up for the qualifier in Tashkent four days later.
"Those are the games I'm looking at. It gives me enough time to get back to full fitness. I can't see why I won't be available," Chipperfield told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I had a foot operation in Melbourne in May - it's been 12 to 13 weeks and the good news is there's been no reaction.
"It's now about getting my match fitness back. It's been a long time on the sidelines, but it's given me the chance to give the body a rest, because for a few years there I didn't have a break at all."
Chipperfield said Verbeek had been in contact with him several times and planned to watch him play club football over the coming weeks.