thumbnail Hello,

The experienced centre-forward plans to be back as quickly as possible for his A-League club and national team following an off-season operation

Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz hopes to return to action in time to play for New Zealand in their World Cup qualifying playoff in November.

The 31-year-old went under the knife in July to address a hip and groin issue which had affected him since at least August 2012, hampering his effectiveness for his club last term.

Smeltz is not expected to be back in action for Perth's A-League season opener against Adelaide United on October 13, but he is hopeful of returning in time to help New Zealand in their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off.

The crucial tie will take place over two legs on November 15 and 20 against a CONCACAF team, with Honduras and Panama looming as likely opponents.

"I'll be doing everything I can from now on in terms of rehab to be ready as soon as I can, but it's difficult at this stage to put an exact time frame on it," he said.

"This could be a massive season and that's another reason why I decided to get this operation done.

"We've got an All Whites camp in September which unfortunately I won't have much involvement with, but I'll certainly be having a chat with (New Zealand coach) Ricki Herbert around that time as we look towards that massive World Cup play-off against Honduras or Panama or whoever it might be."

Having managed just seven goals for Perth Glory in 2012-13, Smeltz hopes a clean bill of health going into the new campaign will allow him to get back to his best for club and country.

"It had been an issue for me in terms of both playing and training for around twelve months," he said.

"Basically ever since I was away at the London Olympics with New Zealand last off-season.

"That was a really busy period for me and that was when I first noticed that I had an issue with the hip and the groin all down the one side.

"It never really went away and I ended up carrying it all last season.

"I was just managing it and getting through, but worrying about your body week-to-week is obviously not good for your game.

"It got to a stage last season where I had to have a couple of cortisone injections and we never really put our finger on exactly what was causing the problem.

"We didn't really find that out until I came back here for pre-season and obviously that was a shame because if we'd identified it earlier, I could have had my surgery earlier and I'd be further along with my recovery than I am now.

"But the positive to come out of it is that we did find out what I needed doing, I got the operation done nice and quickly and two, two-and-a-half weeks later, I'm feeling a lot better."

 Goal Australia has its own and account, so for all the latest news and features on Australian football follow us by clicking on the above link

Related

From the web