Cahill targets early return
November 23, 2006 7:29pm CST
AFP November 23, 2006 LONDON (AFP) - Australia midfielder Tim Cahill is convinced he will return from his knee injury ahead of schedule. Cahill, 26, is expected to be sidelined for at least two months after suffering medial knee ligament damage in a collision with his Everton team-mate Lee Carsley against Aston Villa on November 11. But the Sydney-born Socceroos star, recently nominated for the Ballon D'or award for the world's best player, believes he can emulate his rapid return from injury ahead of the World Cup and be back in action sooner than the medical experts predict. Cahill said Thursday: "It is not the best news to be out with an injury, but the biggest thing is that it's not a cruciate and that I am not out for six months. I'd like to think I am a quick healer. I have been fortunate enough that I have recovered from major injuries quite quickly. "I am very optimistic that if I do everything right then I will pick up the rewards." Cahill managed to recover from a knee injury in time to help Australia towards the second round of the World Cup in Germany with a match-winning two-goal haul against Japan. He sees no reason why he can't be back in goal-scoring form for club and country by the New Year and added: "Before the World Cup I only had six weeks to get a posterior tear right, I did everything I could and I think if I do the same thing again I could, maybe, be playing at the end of December or the start of January. "I am coming in for work and treatment three times a day, morning, afternoon and evening, to give my knee the best possible chance. The first four weeks are the most important. If I can get it healed in four weeks then I can do the hard work in the two to four weeks after that."