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Harry Kewell raring to go after fears for his career

Harry Kewell raring to go after fears for his career

Jun 29 2007

by Nick Smith, Liverpool Daily Post

Harry Kewell in action for Australia

HARRY KEWELL has admitted that thoughts of giving up football crossed his mind during his latest battle against injury.

The Liverpool winger now hopes the stop-start nature of his career over the past two years is behind him as he prepares to represent his country in the Asian Cup next month.

Kewell was restricted to just tree appearances at the back end of last season for Liverpool – his first action since sustaining a foot injury in last year’s World Cup in Germany.

After a torn adductor muscle curtailed his involvement in the Champions League final victory over AC Milan in 2005, Kewell returned to something like his best when he made his comeback the following autumn and his form continued into Australia’s qualification from the group phase of the World Cup.

But after going back to square one when he was ruled out for most of last season, the 28-year-old confessed that he feared his latest injury might just be one recovery too many.

“Thoughts like that did creep into my mind,” said the Australian winger. “There were fleeting thoughts.

“You get over one injury and then another one appears and all of a sudden you’re wound up in one big mess and you think, ‘am I ever going to be the same?’

“But I had a strong team behind me, strong family behind me and I had fantastic people working with me 24/7.

“And from the confidence I had from them, that pulled me through.”

Kewell is now poised for his international comeback on Saturday when Australia take on Singapore in a warm-up game. Their first ever Asian Cup campaign kicks off a week on Sunday when Oman are Australia’s first opponents in a group that also includes Iraq and one of the four hosts, Thailand.

And Kewell, who scored the equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Croatia that took Australia to the knock-out phase in Germany last year, is ready to make a similar impact on the international stage once more.

“I feel great,” he said. “It’s hard work out here.

“It’s very hot, very humid but the team is looking well, the team’s looking fit and everything’s going well,” he said.

“Hopefully I can get a run out but we’ll just have to wait and see. We’re just working hard.

“We’re feeling great and Training’s going good for me, I’m pulling up good.”

Kewell also thinks that getting in some games in July will assist his pre-season preparations and sharpen him up for returning to the Liverpool fold after the tournament.

He added: “It’s the first pre-season I’ve done in probably a couple of years so my body is a bit stiff, but no less stiff than anyone else’s and it’s to be expected.

“I’ve just got to roll with it. I’ve got to take my time and make my way into the game.

“It’s going to be fun. I haven’t been out for this long and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ve been off for 12 months now and you almost claim that as a little retirement. It’s rested my body, mentally and physically.

“Obviously with the injuries I was still working but to just step back and watch games was good for me, to step back and relax a little bit.”

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