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New Zealand sweat on Nelsen, Reid

By Football News

New Zealand captain Ryan Nelsen and striker Winston Reid are under injury clouds ahead of the Oceania World Cup qualifiers against Tahiti.

Nelsen and Reid may well still be involved in the matches which are scheduled to be played against the reigning Oceania champions in Papeete on Saturday and Christchurch three days later.

But that will require the pair to require injuries picked up in the Premier League.

Nelsen is having a knee injury assessed by QPR medical staff after a knock in the match against West Bromwich Albion, while Reid suffered back spasms in West Ham's loss to Arsenal.

The pair are facing a race against time, however, as New Zealand's squad is due to fly out to Tahiti on Thursday.

"We've been aware of the injuries since the weekend, and unfortunately they have prevented the players from travelling," New Zealand Football High Performance Director Fred de Jong said.

“We will continue to liaise with the players and medical staff at their respective clubs to give them the best possible chance of playing for the All Whites."

All of the 18-man squad were involved in the first two Oceania qualifying fixtures last month when the All Whites beat New Caledonia and Solomon Islands.