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World Cup: Canada trailing Australia in key game

MELBOURNE, Australia –

Australian striker Sam Kerr, sidelined by injury for the first two games of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, started on the bench in Monday’s do-or-die Group B finale against Canada.

The Chelsea star suffered a calf injury on the eve of the competition, with the 10th-ranked Matildas saying she would be re-evaluated before the Canada contest. It was expected she would see limited action as a substitute against Canada.

On Saturday, Kerr told reporters she would be available to play against Canada but did not divulge what kind of role she might have. on Sunday, Australia coach Tony Gustavsson said he planned to meet with Kerr and the medical staff later that day to discuss “the possibilities for her to play” in advance of a fitness test Monday.

He also noted the risk of coming back from a muscle injury.

“We need to balance how many minutes is she available? What are the risks if we manage to go through to the (knockout rounds), playing time and so forth? So there’s a lot on the table to discuss. We probably won’t know how exactly we’re going to use that (information) until we come here to the stadium (Monday).”

The final decision would be up the medial staff and Kerr, he said.

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