Raso nears return, Foord update ahead of Tournament of Nations

Westfield Matildas flyer Hayley Raso is edging closer to a return from a knee injury sustained during the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in April.

The Portland Thorns attacker, who can also play at fullback, has returned to training during the international break and is set to travel with her teammates to Chicago as they prepare to face Sam Kerr’s Chicago Red Stars on Sunday.

With only goal difference separating the Thorns and Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League, Raso’s imminent return from a knee ligament injury is welcome news for coach Mark Parsons, who also has fellow Westfield Matildas Ellie Carpenter and Caitlin Foord on the books.

"All three will travel," Parsons told Oregon Live, also referencing Westfield W-League star defender Emily Sonnett and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.

"We've got quality training this week to get through and we'll find out closer to the Chicago game if one of them is ready to get some minutes.

"The fact that we're taking all three, we feel all of them can be available, worst case by Houston."

Raso’s return – either this weekend or next – is good news for Westfield Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic as the national team prepares for July/August’s clashes with Brazil, USA and Japan in the Tournament of Nations 2018.

Meanwhile, Caitlin Foord is back running after four months having required surgery on her foot which made her unavailable for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

Foord recently shared vision of her working out at NRL club Cronulla Sharks’ training facilities as she continues her recovery.