16 May 2012

Nelsen may miss Oceania Cup

6:43 am on 16 May 2012

The All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen may not play in the Oceania Cup in the Solomon Islands next month to enable him to be fully fit for this year's Olympics.

Nelsen was named as a part of coach Ricki Herbert's squad for the tournament, which doubles as the first part of World Cup qualifying.

The Tottenham defender has been excused from the two warmup matches in Texas against Honduras and El Salvador.

Herbert says Nelsen is fully committed, but he's still looking to get over a troublesome knee injury that plagued him during the Premier League season.

He says a decision on whether Nelsen will play will be made in the next 48 hours.

Herbert has included promising England-based youngsters Cameron Howieson and Tim Payne in his squad.

He's also handed recalls to Michael Boxall, Aaron Clapham and Rory Fallon, all of whom missed out on the reduced squad for the international against Jamaica in February, while fit-again goalkeeper Glen Moss also returns.

The All Whites play the two internationals against Honduras and El Salvador in Texas at the end of the month, before playing the Oceania Cup where the top four teams will progress to the next stage of World Cup qualifying.