Sam Kerr is on the bench for Australia in the Women’s World Cup clash with Denmark as early signs indicate she won’t get much playing time.
- Sam Kerr has been called up in the Matildas squad to face Denmark
- Kerr has yet to appear in Australia’s World Cup campaign due to a calf injury
- But she is available for the round of 16 clash with the Danes in Sydney.
Sam Kerr has been named in Tony Gustavsson’s dugout to face Denmark as the Matildas bid to reach the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup.
Kerr promised reporters over the weekend that she will take part in the round of 16 clash with the world number 13 team in Sydney, as she was forced to sit out during the group stage due to a calf injury that occurred on the eve of the tournament.
There were serious concerns about Kerr’s availability for the entirety of Matilda’s season, with pundits warning of the risk of long-term injury if the 29-year-old returns too soon.
And Gustavsson saw fit to select Kerr on the bench for the round of 16 match at Stadium Australia, with Kerr having to watch for the time being.
However, the striker did not warm up with the team before the match at Stadium Australia in a sign that she could only watch game time if necessary.
That was also the case in the team’s 4-0 win over Canada in their final group game, when Kerr also failed to warm up and saw no action because the Matildas had the result well under control.
On Saturday, the Matildas captain posted photos on Instagram of her clearly ramping up her training, then as TV cameras stopped her at Sydney airport, she made her strongest comment yet about her fitness.
Sam Kerr will play with the Matildas against Denmark in the round of 16 of the World Cup
“I’m very excited,” Kerr told Channel Nine.
‘I’ll play, yes.’
Kerr was limited to a stationary bike during the 15-minute training window open to the media on Sunday, which a Football Australia spokesman insisted was a planned ‘off-foot’ session as part of his return-to-play programme. .
Yesterday we had a nice moment as a team, seeing her back with her boots on and touching the ball and being with the team training, and it was a very good feeling for her and a very good feeling for the players and teammates. and a very good feeling for me,’ said coach Gustavsson.
‘Today she was off her feet. It’s quite an individual plan for her in training: I trust 100% in my team (doctor) to prepare her in the best possible way.
“She’s also a player we’ll be talking about tonight to see how many minutes would be most appropriate and look at 90 minutes, the potential for overtime, how to get the best out of Sam Kerr in tomorrow’s game plan.”