Australia’s preparations for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa have already suffered a major blow, with the news that veteran full-back Scott Chipperfield has been sidelined for three months with an ankle injury.
The 33 year-old suffered a torn ankle ligament training with club side FC Basel, for whom he has been in good form this season, scoring four goals as they finished runners up in the Swiss Super League.
And whilst the injury won’t necessarily rule him out of the World Cup itself, it will leave the player with a limited amount of time to regain fitness and form ahead of the tournament, with a March return for the national team targeted.
"I'm a bit worried," Chipperfield told the Illawara Mercury. "It's not good timing, hopefully I'll be back playing by March - that leaves me a couple of months before the World Cup.
"I can't have any mishaps. It's going to be tough because I don't know how many games I will be able to play in before the training camp."
Though he only made five appearances during Australia’s recent World Cup qualifying campaign, Chipperfield remains Pim Verbeek’s preference at a left-back position where there is a conspicuous lack of alternatives.
While the likes of David Carney and Luke Wilkshire can replace the veteran, the former has failed to impress in defence and the latter is by trade a right-sided player.
Chris Paraskevas, Goal.com
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