MELBOURNE (AFP) - Goal-scoring talisman Tim Cahill took an ice machine on board the long flight to Honduras on Monday (Nov 6) to treat his injured ankle as he races to be fit for this week's vital World Cup playoff.
The 37-year-old said he would receive treatment from a member of Australia's medical staff during the 15-hour journey, adding that he hoped to speed up his recovery with "round the clock work".
But Australia's record scorer, whose double against Syria took the Socceroos into the two-legged Honduras tie, said there was no guarantee he would be fit for Friday's game in San Pedro Sula.
He twisted his ankle during the first half of Melbourne City's 1-0 A-League loss to Sydney FC on Friday. He has been cleared of a fracture, but whether he can play in Honduras is still unknown.
"I'm not promising anything, but this is a massive opportunity for us, the chance to go to a fourth consecutive World Cup," he said at Melbourne airport, where he arrived wearing an ice pack on his leg. "We've made a calculated decision - if it works, fantastic.
"I've had 20 years of experience of injuries at the highest level, and you can speed processes up with round the clock work."
He has had two physiotherapists working on his ankle in the hope he can at least play some role before the return game in Sydney on Nov 15.
"We've got a 15-hour flight, so I'll get probably four treatments plus ice on it the whole way there," he said.
"I wouldn't put myself in any danger of harming myself. It's a massive two weeks for Australian soccer, but I wouldn't be doing it if I thought it was the wrong thing. I'll give it a go but if not I want to be in the trenches with my teammates."