Socceroo Coach Pim Verbeek names his world cup squad:
Video: SBS’ The World Game crew analyse the picks
Meanwhile, Everton are closing in on a deal to secure star Socceroo midfielder Tim Cahill for another two years.
Kewell, Verbeek’s preferred option as a lone striker in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation going into next month’s World Cup, re-injured his troublesome groin training last week and missed his club match in Turkey at the weekend.
While Kewell is confident he will be fit for South Africa, he has played just once since January and, at best, his match fitness will be questionable.
Other options on the cards
Easing the problem slightly is giant Josh Kennedy’s red-hot form in Japan.
The man who would lead the line in Kewell’s absence is the J-League’s leading scorer, grabbing a double for Nagoya Grampus at the weekend.
Kewell has expressed confidence his latest setback won’t be a significant issue for Australia’s World Cup tilt.
He said his good club form for Galatasaray before the injury would hold him in good stead ahead of the World Cup opener against Germany on June 13.
“I wouldn’t be able to last 90 minutes at the moment but, with a few extra sessions and all that, I am quite sure I will be fully fit,” Kewell said in News Limited papers on Monday.
“My fitness is fine, I can do virtually everything else except kick a ball.”
Kewell will also have the Socceroos’ lead-up matches against New Zealand on May 24, Denmark on June 1 and the United States on June 5 to sharpen up.
In-form goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and star midfielder Tim Cahill will headline the squad along with Kewell.