The Australian international, who scored the equaliser for the Socceroos against Croatia to send them through to the last 16 at the World Cup earlier this year, says that while his injuries are progressing well he won't be back on the field until at least February.

 

"It's going to be a while," Kewell said on Thursday. 

 

"We're looking past February. I'm just itching to get back into playing."

 

"My foot is a bit sore at the moment and so is my groin," he added.

 

"I just had that done last Friday, but the surgeons are very happy.

 

"I meet up with them again on Friday and if they give me the all clear then I'm back off to England.

 

"It's been a long hard thing for me, seven weeks so far, and I'm  really looking forward to going home and seeing my family."

 

The 28-year-old has been beleaguered by injuries over the past two years and he continues to suffer from an arthritic condition in his left foot.

 

Kewell will be unavailable for the Socceroos' next match against Ghana on November 14 in London and said that Australia needs to sort out their coaching situation sooner rather than later, with interim coach Graham Arnold still at the helm after Guus Hiddink's departure for Russia.

 

"Graham's doing a good job, but it's not my decision, but again I think we need a great leader," Kewell said.

 

"I think you need a leader in any team... In football you need a general.

 

Kewell (L) scores a goal for
Liverpool in the Merseyside derby

"My boss (Rafael Benitez) at Liverpool, he is that, and we need that for the Australian team to take us forward.

 

"Guus was probably our best one we ever had, I thoroughly enjoyed working under him and I thought he was one of the   best managers I've ever worked for and if we can get someone as half as good as him I think we'll go a long way."

 

Only one spark

 

As for his club side's mediocre start to the English Premier League season, Kewell said that it wouldn't be long before they hit some form.

 

"What's wrong with them? I don't know. I think we're playing well, we're just not finishing our chances.

 

"If you look at our past record we've always had a slow start to the season, but we always pick it up and we know where the back of the net is and it only takes one spark from any one of our great players to do that."

 

Liverpool currently sit 11th on the Premier League table after nine games, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United.