Aussie Injury Casualties Kewell, Schwarzer Train
Australia's Harry Kewell
Former Liverpool star Harry Kewell took part in the first Australian training session Thursday since they arrived in South Africa as he continues his comeback from injury.
The Turkey-based midfielder joined the rest of the 28-man squad in a light session at their northern Johannesburg base just 12 hours after becoming the first team to land here for the 2010 World Cup.
Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer also trained after recovering from a sprained wrist he picked up during a training camp in Melbourne and captain Lucas Neill welcomed both back.
"We did not even see a ball come out but everyone did really well and it's great to have a fully fit team participating in training and working towards the tournament," he told AFP.
"They worked us pretty hard today but that's because we have to get used to this altitude. You notice the breathing straight away because we are at 1700 metres so it will take some adjusting."
The former Blackburn, West Ham and Everton defender acknowledged they had plenty of work to do, but was positive his team will be in good shape.
"It's hard to put an exact percentage on how ready we are but we definitely know we have got a lot to improve on," he said.
You can see people are starting to come back into the squad and clear the rust as it were - a lot of us had a break of one or two weeks before we all met up, but the touch is coming back. There is a general hunger among the squad."
Group D contenders Australia are using purpose-built facilities at St Stithians College which overlooks the upmarket Sandton business district with Johannesburg city centre visible in the distance.
The 'Socceroos' tackle three-time champions Germany, Ghana and Serbia in one of the most competitive of the eight first round mini-leagues with the winners and runners-up advancing to the knockout stage.
Coached by Dutchman Pim Verbeek, the Aussies will play Germany in their opening fixture in the Indian Ocean city of Durban on June 13 as they hope to at least repeat a last-16 showing four years ago.
Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici knows he is likely to be a reserve behind the experienced Schwarzer, but believes he has a role to play.
"Mark is much better now and obviously he is number one so I'm here in a supportive role, but if I'm needed to play I'll be ready.
"We've got a very tough group and it's going to be difficult for us to get through but we are confident we can make it," he said.
"Now we have to try and get over the jetlag, but I'm sure that won't take too long."