Brown recovery going well
Midfielder ahead of schedule in battle to prove his fitness
Last Updated: June 12, 2010 4:31pm
Brown: Shoulder problem
Tim Brown remains quietly optimistic regarding his chances of featuring at the World Cup finals.
The New Zealand midfielder saw his participation cast into doubt once he suffered a shoulder injury during a warm-up game against Australia on 24th May.
He has made promising progress in his recovery since then, but remains some way short of full match fitness.
New Zealand officials have until 24 hours before kick-off in their Group F opener against Slovakia on Tuesday to make a decision on Brown's fitness.
Up until that point they would still be allowed to draft in a replacement, taking them back up to full strength.
Brown accepts that there are still question marks hanging over his head, but he is confident he will be able to play some part in the tournament.
"I wouldn't want to say it's a medical miracle but it's healing pretty quickly," he told the New Zealand Herald.
"I'm certainly not healed. They thought it would be a six-week turnaround and we are two-and-a-half weeks into it. But by all accounts it's going really well.
"It feels great. I hope I can hit the ground running. I have come over here to play. Obviously it's one achievement to make it to this point.
"They reckon I am about three weeks ahead of schedule and I think I have done well to get to this point but there are a whole lot of other challenges because I want to play and really contribute on the field.
"I feel like it's in pretty good shape considering. Obviously there's a wee way to go but hopefully that will be pretty rapid and I will be training and playing at full speed pretty soon. I'm feeling pretty good and I'm confident I will be training fully pretty shortly.
"In my mind I can get into training pretty soon. As for this game on Tuesday, we will have to see."