Postecoglou and FFA gamble on Tim Cahill's fitness

Tim Cahill has produced so many magical moments for Australia that opponents could be forgiven for thinking he possesses supernatural powers.

But he really will have to have otherwordly abilities if he is to have a major impact in Australia's first leg World Cup qualifier against Honduras in San Pedro Sula in the early hours of Saturday morning [AEDT].

The FFA is gambling that he has, and has rolled the dice with its talismanic striker and decided to bring him to Central America after a fraught 48 hours when it looked as though he would be forced to miss after picking up a serious injury in Melbourne City's clash with Sydney FC on Friday night.

Not so lucky is fellow forward Robbie Kruse, who will not make the trip to Honduras after picking up a knock while playing for his Bundesliga 2 side Bochum overnight. The Germany-based striker will, however, be available for the return leg in Sydney and will fly straight to Australia, bypassing the first leg in Central America.

City's marquee man Cahill limped out early in the first half of the top-of-the-table A-League clash after rolling his ankle, wearing a grim expression as the enormity of what might happen weighed down on him.

Fortunately for him and coach Ange Postecoglou, Cahill was cleared of a fractured ankle on Saturday morning after further tests, having had hospital treatment on Friday night.

He will now travel to Honduras a day later than scheduled, giving him more time to recover at home before he embarks on the arduous journey.

"Cahill's delayed departure to Honduras is part of the monitoring and rehabilitation process that has been put in place for an ankle injury," the FFA said in a statement on Sunday morning.

"He will require continued assessment and treatment before a determination regarding his eligibility for the forthcoming matches is made by the Caltex Socceroos' medical and coaching staff."

The decision to take Cahill despite the doubts over his medical condition illustrates the dearth of striking options Australia has, especially with Kruse unavailable and Mathew Leckie suspended.

Both Leckie and Mark Milligan (who is also suspended for the first leg) will be available for the return fixture in Sydney.

Cahill aside, the only recognised frontmen at Postecoglou's disposal in Central America will be Tomi Juric and Nikita Rukavytsya.

He does have several midfielders who are regular goalscorers at club level, however, such as Tom Rogic from Celtic, Melbourne Victory's James Troisi and Jackson Irvine, who was on target frequently last season for Burton Albion in the English Championship.

But Cahill's ability to deliver on the big occasion is legendary, as his two goals to see off a dogged Syria in the earlier World Cup play off in Sydney in October testify. He may be rising 38, but he is still the Socceroos' go-to man.

This story Postecoglou and FFA gamble on Tim Cahill's fitness first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.