New Zealand assistant manager Brian Turner has revealed that they will give midfielder Tim Brown as long as possible to prove his fitness.
The 29-year-old suffered a fractured right shoulder in the recent friendly defeat to Australia and underwent surgery, where three screws were inserted into the broken bone, last week.
The All Whites vice-captain was a crucial member of the side during qualifying making seven appearances as New Zealand qualified for their first World Cup since 1982.
Jeremy Christie deputised for Brown in the shock 1-0 win over Serbia on Sunday but Turner knows the importance of Brown.
"He's an integral part of the team and I think we're all in agreement that we want to give him every opportunity we can so that he can participate," he said.
Turner has played down the win over Serbia but does concede that the side are starting to grow accustomed to the way manager Ricki Herbert wants them to play.
"We are pretty comfortable with the system we've got (3-4-3) and it's now more about individual people doing things and understanding their roles and responsibilities very clearly so they can perform them on the day," he told Radio Sport.
"It's just getting onto the park now and working through things and putting in the hard yards at training."