New Zealand midfielder Tim Brown remains anxious about his FIFA World Cup participation as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.
The All Whites vice-captain has recovered well from the problem suffered against Australia on May 24 but is not yet 100 per cent, with officials having until 24 hours before Tuesday's opener against Slovakia to decide whether to drop him and call a replacement. Brown admits it is a relief just to have made the trip.
"I wouldn't want to say it's a medical miracle but it's healing pretty quickly," he told the New Zealand Herald. "I'm certainly not healed. They thought it would be a six-week turnaround and we are two-and-a-half weeks into it. But by all accounts it's going really well.
I have come over here to play.
"It feels great. I hope I can hit the ground running. I have come over here to play. Obviously it's one achievement to make it to this point.
"They reckon I am about three weeks ahead of schedule and I think I have done well to get to this point but there are a whole lot of other challenges because I want to play and really contribute on the field.
"I feel like it's in pretty good shape considering. Obviously there's a wee way to go but hopefully that will be pretty rapid and I will be training and playing at full speed pretty soon. I'm feeling pretty good and I'm confident I will be training fully pretty shortly.
"In my mind I can get into training pretty soon. As for this game on Tuesday, we will have to see."