Socceroo Tim Cahill could be rushed back into the New York Red Bulls side off the bench this weekend despite suffering a hamstring injury less than a fortnight ago.
Cahill, 34, has been sidelined since limping off early with a hamstring problem against Chivas USA on March 30, sparking fears he may miss the 2014 World Cup.
New York confirmed the injury was only a mild strain rather than a tear and coach Mike Petke had said the best case scenario was a return in a fortnight, while Cahill tweeted it was a two-to-three week injury.
The all-time Socceroos leading goalscorer has been making good progress in his recovery but failed to train with his Red Bulls team-mates on Wednesday.
However, Petke hinted Cahill could make an early return when the winless Red Bulls face DC United on Saturday (Sunday 9am AET).
“There’s always reason for optimism with Tim,” Petke told reporters on Wednesday.
“But I think with only two more sessions to go before the game, if I was a betting man, if anything, he’ll be used in a role off the bench or something along that aspect at this point.”
After sustaining the injury, Cahill had tweeted: “Found out that I will be out for 2-3 weeks with Hamstring problem. @NewYorkRedBulls #Socceroos Working with the best to get fit asap. #RBNY.”
Red Bulls missed Cahill’s presence in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Montreal Impact, which extended the club’s winless start to the campaign. New York have only managed four points from five games in 2014 Major League Soccer.
Despite the club’s predicament, Cahill may prefer a cautious approach with the 2014 World Cup just over two months away.comments