Robbie's right to go, says Postecoglou

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou says Robbie Kruse has done everything right in his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury and is delighted with his early return to the national team.

Postecoglou today named a 20-man squad for next month’s friendlies against Belgium and Saudi Arabia in Europe, which will be vital as preparation for the 2015 Asian Cup.

Kruse was included for the first time since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury at Bayer Leverkusen training in January.

The reigning Australian Footballer of the Year faced up to 12 months out with the injury, which forced him to miss the 2014 World Cup.

However, Kruse returned to action ahead of schedule late last month for Leverkusen and has made two brief appearances off the bench for his German club prior to his Australia recall.

He has been linked with a loan move to FSV Mainz and Hannover 96 in order to earn game-time as he recovers from injury. Despite his lack of game-time, Postecoglou said he was delighted to welcome 25-year-old Kruse back into camp.

“He’s come back really strong," Postecoglou revealed in a teleconference on Thursday.

"He’s bounced back from injury very well.

“He hasn’t had a lot of game time but in terms of his general fitness he’s in good shape.”

Kruse’s operation was performed by the same doctor who operated on Germany World Cup star Sami Khedira last year, prompting initial hopes he could make the trip to Brazil.

The former Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar attacker later revised that target, hoping to return early in the 2014-15 season.

Postecoglou added: “We were hoping in our reports he’d be right for the start of the Bundesliga.

“He’s done everything right in his rehab. The reports we’ve had from his medical team have been really good.”

Kruse is seen as a key addition to Australia’s Asian Cup squad having played a vital part in 2014 World Cup qualification.

Meanwhile, Postecoglou said he was confident uncapped Aston Villa midfielder Chris Herd was ready to go.

Herd has been forced to withdraw from several Socceroos camps in the past and missed the back-half of last season at Villa for personal reasons.

The 25-year-old returned to Villa training in pre-season and, in turn, earned a call-up from Postecoglou.

 “He’s done all the pre-season with Aston Villa and he played a number of their pre-season games,” Postecoglou said.

“He didn’t make the squad for their first league game, but played at Under-21 level.

“In terms of his fitness he’s really good and really keen to front up for a national team camp. Hopefully he can get an opportunity to represent his country.”