Brown faces fitness race

All Whites vice-skipper has surgery on injured shoulder

Brown: Injured shoulder

New Zealand midfielder Tim Brown faces a race to be fit for the World Cup after undergoing surgery.

The 29-year-old fractured his shoulder after a challenge from Vince Grella during the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Australia on Monday.

Brown, the All Whites' vice-captain, had an operation on Thursday where three screws were inserted into the bone which he damaged in the friendly game.

New Zealand's first match in South Africa is against European outfit Slovakia on 15th June and it is not known if the Wellington Phoenix man will make it.

While it is too early to tell if he will recover or not, but early indications show that the operation went well.

A statement on the New Zealand Football website said: "Initial indications are positive and that the surgery went well, but it is too early yet to say what the recovery time frame for the injury is."

Midfielder Cole Peverley, 21, has been brought into the 23-man squad as cover for Brown, as New Zealand prepare to embark on their first-ever World Cup.