Crystal Palace and Australia captain Mile Jedinak has targeted a return to action against Croatia as he continues his comeback from injury ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
Jedinak picked up a groin problem on the final day of the season against Fulham, which cruelly robbed him of the accolade of playing every minute of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League campaign.
Since then the 29-year-old has been restricted to light training at the Socceroos' pre-tournament camp and was forced to sit out his country’s 1-1 draw with South Africa at the weekend.
But Jedinak revealed he is eyeing a return to international action in the Aussies' final warm-up game against fellow qualifiers Croatia on 7th June, ahead of their World Cup opener against Chile the following week.
“That's what we're aiming towards definitely,” Jedinak said. “I'm in the same boat as everyone, you want to get game time before the first game in the tournament.
"I'm definitely working towards that and I'm confident that will happen.
"It's still a little while away. I've got a bit of time to make sure it's 100 percent before trying to do anything with the boys.
"It's coming along quite well. I've stepped up my training and I'm happy with where it's at.
"It's a gradual build up over the next few days and hopefully once we're in Brazil at some stage in the not too distant future join up with the team."
Jedinak and his Australian teammates have been handed a tough task in Brazil if they are to progress past the group stage of the tournament for only the second time in their history.
Following their clash with Chile on Friday 13th June, the Socceroos face 2010 runners-up the Netherlands and reigning champions Spain in what is a tough-looking Group B.
But Jedinak, who has helped the Eagles defy the odds at club level this season, believes his country can do something similar this summer with the help of their travelling fans.
“The support throughout this whole camp has been magnificent,” Jedinak said.
“We've had a few fan days and you are hearing people buzzing and I think it's rubbing off on the boys.
“We know going away it's going to be tough but we know we have a huge backing here and it gives us confidence going forward.”
Quotes courtesy of socceroos.com.