Sam Kerr's injured calf. Alamy Stock Photo

'I've the biggest calves in the world, so I’m not sure why it decided to play up day before World Cup'

Elsewhere, scans have confirmed England’s Keira Walsh has not suffered an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury.

LAST UPDATE | Jul 29th 2023, 1:42 PM

Australia captain Sam Kerr confirmed she will be available for the Matildas’ final group stage encounter with Canada after missing their first two World Cup matches with a calf injury.

The Matildas’ chances of progressing from Group B hang in the balance after Thursday’s surprise 3-2 defeat to Nigeria in Brisbane, and only victory over the Olympic champions on Monday will see Tony Gustavsson’s side qualify for the last 16, barring a draw scenario that will still rely on the Republic of Ireland beating Nigeria.

Kerr, her country’s top goal-scorer of either gender, is not just Australia’s strongest weapon – she is more symbolically the poster-woman for this tournament both in her native country and, arguably, around the world.

The Chelsea striker would not confirm if the encouraging update would mean the home support would see her start in Melbourne, telling a press conference: “I feel good. The plan has always been the same, miss the first two games then reassess.

“I’m feeling good, I was out on the pitch today. As good as I can be.

“I would love to tell you guys everything – but you know being in sport a long time, that that’s a massive thing the opposition wants to know.

“And like Tony said yesterday it’s going to go down to the wire. I’m definitely going to be available, but how we decide to use that is not to be given to the opposition, I think is the main thing.

“Obviously the plan for me is to be involved and I’m excited. I’ve done everything I can, and no matter what happens I know that I’ve given everything just in the last 10 days, in the last four years, I’ve given everything to be here.”

Mary Fowler, Australia’s other most potent attacker, was also forced to sit out the Nigeria match with a concussion, but team-mate Ellie Carpenter confirmed the forward would also be available for Monday’s meeting.

Kerr, who has scored 63 goals across 121 caps for Australia, joked: “I have the biggest calves in the world, so I’m not sure why it decided to play up the day before the World Cup, but that’s sport for you, isn’t it?”

Elsewhere, England midfielder Keira Walsh’s World Cup hangs in the balance after a scan revealed she did not suffer an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the 1-0 victory over Denmark on Friday.

The 26-year-old will miss the Lionesses’ final group-stage clash with China on Tuesday but will remain in Australia as she undergoes further medical assessments.

Press Association
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