Slovakia's Martin Skrtel is nearing fitness as he continues his recovery from injury. The 25-year-old Liverpool defender has been unable to train with his team-mates since their arrival in South Africa yesterday, but is expected to step up his work tomorrow as coach Vladimir Weiss prepares for Tuesday's opening Group F clash with New Zealand in Rustenburg.

He is now almost completely healthy and on Friday, he will no longer be training without the ball.

Vladimir Weiss, Slovakia coach

Asked about his squad, Weiss said: "All are healthy, although Martin Skrtel still on Wednesday prepared individually. But he is now almost completely healthy and on Friday, he will no longer be training without the ball."

Meanwhile, Weiss has spoken of the warmth of welcome the Slovakians have received since arriving at their Pretoria base.

"It is a little crazy," he said. "The people are rejoicing. This is Africa, that is something completely different to what we are accustomed to in Europe."