Tim Cahill’s hopes of representing Australia in this summer’s World Cup lie in the balance after it emerged that the Everton midfielder will be out for six weeks due to knee ligament damage.

Everton physio Mick Rathbone said: “As regards to the World Cup, he will obviously be a big doubt and will be receiving intensive physiotherapy.”

Cahill was injured in the 0-0 draw with Birmingham on Saturday and after further scans on Monday and Tuesday he has now been ruled out for the rest of the season.

With a six-week recuperation period likely, Cahill faces a race against time to prove his fitness for Australia’s opening game against Japan on June 12.

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