Shipard eyes Adelaide clash for return to action

Canberra United star midfielder Sally Shipard is confident she will be ready for a return to W-League action this weekend

Canberra United star midfielder Sally Shipard is confident she will be ready for a return to W-League action this weekend if selected for her side-s round three clash with Adelaide United at McKellar Park on Saturday afternoon.

Shipard has missed United-s first two matches of the 2012-13 Westfield W-league season while she has continued to recover from off-season knee surgery.

But the 25-year-old returned to training with the squad for the first time this season earlier in the week and believes her knee is as good as it can be.

“My knees feel good,” she said.

“I-ve just been in touch with my trainer, strength and conditioning coach and my physio…they-re all happy with how my knees are going.

"I-ll have a full session with the girls tonight and a light session tomorrow and assuming all goes to plan, I-ll be fully fit to see Jitka and the coaching staff to see what they-d like the squad to look like for Saturday-s match.”

Her return to action has taken longer than expected. She was hoping to be ready for the Canberra club-s opening-round fixture against Brisbane Roar on October 20 but was forced to postpone a return to the field due to a lack of match fitness.

Her presence was missed greatly in that fixture, with the midfield unit of Caitlin Munoz, Ariane Hingst and Jennifer Bisset unable to form the best of understandings.

Although Shipard said it has been difficult watching from the sideline, she insisted the team was travelling well.

“Nothing compares to being out there and training with the girls and working together, and of course playing games because that-s what we love to do,” she said.

“My passion is football and I-m very much looking forward to getting back out there and playing with the girls.

"The team has been in great form and the midfield has held its own very well and it goes to show with the results we-ve achieved so far.”

There-s no denying Shipard-s possible presence in this weekend-s match day squad would bring smiles to the faces of her teammates and fans alike, with her crafty passing game and attacking flair often causing havoc for the opposition defence.

She was, however, frank in her assessment of how much she could handle if called upon by coach Klimkova.

“Mentally, I think I-d be able to handle an entire game, but physically probably not,” she said.

“Ideally, it would be a matter of getting out there for a half or the period of the game towards the end just to see how I go.”