Four key Westfield Matildas 'racing the clock' for AFC Women's Asian Cup fitness
Westfield Matildas coach Alen Stajcic admits he's hopeful rather than certain a quartet of injured stars will be fit for the AFC Women's Asian Cup.
Stajcic included Steph Catley, Kyah Simon, Emily Gielnik and Hayley Raso in his 23-player squad for next month's tournament in a show of faith in their ongoing recoveries.
All four sat out the recent Algarve Cup in Portugal and the prospect of their availabilities could go down to the wire.
"They're all still rehabbing and all racing the clock to be fit," Stajcic told matildas.footballaustralia.com.au.
"There are no guarantees they'll all be fit and ready to go come the Asian Cup.
"At the moment we're giving them every opportunity and care that we can with our medical staff to ensure they get as fit as they can.
"But they're all still on the rehab trail and hopefully coming back to full fitness sooner rather than later."
But while part of the team's preparation has been hampered by injuries - including the loss of Caitlin Foord and Amy Harrison - those setbacks have been balanced out by a lengthy pre-tournament training camp in Perth.
Stajcic is relishing the opportunity to work closely with his squad in the lead-up to Monday night's friendly against Thailand at nib Stadium.
"As we know, in international football, time together as a team is precious," he said.
"It's never a consistent time together so to be able to get 10 or 11 days together before we go to Jordan is really precious to us to evolve our playing style and team roles.
"Every moment is important and we're working really hard to ensure when we get to Jordan that we're ready to go and will hit the ground running."