8 Aug 2013

Smeltz in doubt for World Cup qualifier

5:00 am on 8 August 2013

The striker Shane Smeltz is in doubt for the All Whites' football World Cup qualifying games later this year after undergong hip surgery.

Smeltz, who plays for Perth Glory and is the A-League's all-time leading goalscorer, required the operation to remedy a nagging problem that has hampered him since last year's London Olympics.

While reluctant to pinpoint a specific date for his return to competitive play, the 31-year-old won't be able start running for another couple of months.

Smeltz concedes he won't be able to take part in an All Whites camp in September but will talk with national coach Ricki Herbert about his progress at that time.

Smeltz isn't expected to be able to start running again for two months.

Perth kick off their season against Adelaide in mid-October with the All Whites playing the fourth-placed team in the Central and North American confederation, home and away, in November for a place at next year's showpiece in Brazil.

Honduras currently sits in fourth place in the CONCACAF competition, with three games to play.