Phoenix star a World Cup doubt with injury

STEVE LARKIN
Last updated 07:49 28/02/2014
Kenny Cunningham
Getty Images
MAJOR BLOW: The Phoenix and Costa Rica have been hit with a major blow after Kenny Cunningham suffered a suspected broken foot.

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Costa Rican Kenny Cunningham is in danger of missing the World Cup after suffering a suspected broken foot while playing for Wellington Phoenix.

Cunningham injured a foot in Phoenix's 5-1 loss to Adelaide United in Thursday night's A-League fixture.

The 28-year-old will have scans to determine the extent of his injury, which could cruel his ambitions to feature in the World Cup in Brazil starting in June.

"It looks like one of the small bones in his foot which is pretty painful," Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said.

Cunningham and his Wellington teammate Carlos Hernandez are in Costa Rica's unofficial squad for soccer's showpiece event.

"They were supposed to be going over to Costa Rica but we haven't had final confirmation so I don't know what is going to happen there," Merrick said.

Nations must name a preliminary 30-man squad in May, with a final 23-man squad selected by June 2.

In another blow for Wellington, defender Reece Caira's A-League season appears over after he sustained a fractured eye socket.

Caira copped a stray elbow from Adelaide's Tarek Elrich as they competed for a header.

"A fractured eye socket, with two months to go (of the season), he would be struggling to come back from it," Merrick said.

Compounding Merrick's woes is the imminent departure of a batch of his players to international duties for New Zealand - the All Whites play Japan on March 5.

"Seven, eight, maybe even nine of our boys go away and play in international matches. And I think that is a good thing, because they have got to bounce back from that (Adelaide loss), that wasn't a very good performance at all," he said.

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