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Hunt returns for Matildas ahead of Paris Olympics

3 minute read

Clare Hunt is returning after injury for the Matildas but doubt still hovers over Katrina Gorry ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Influential defender Clare Hunt has overcome injury and returns to a Matildas squad still without Katrina Gorry who remains in doubt for the looming Olympics.

Hunt has overcome a foot stress fracture and is in the Matildas' 23-player squad for two friendlies against China on May 31 in Adelaide and June 3 in Sydney.

Captain and star striker Sam Kerr and fellow attacker Amy Sayer have both officially been ruled out of the Paris Games after undergoing knee reconstructions.

And Gorry, who had ankle surgery last month, is in a race against time for the Olympics starting in late July.

Gorry and Aivi Luik (hamstring) will miss the matches against a Chinese side coached by former Matildas coach Ante Milicic.

But current Matildas boss Tony Gustavsson hopes both will be available for Olympic selection.

"I think everyone can do the math here and understand that obviously the Olympic roster will be based mostly out of those that are in this upcoming May/June camp," Gustavsson said on Tuesday.

"However we also have some players in Katrina and Aivi unavailable for selection for this window but most likely will be physically available to be part of an Olympic roster.

"This window will be a tough one for me and my staff in terms of evaluating players, where they are, and then the final selection process for Paris."

Defender Courtney Nevin and goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who will retire from international football after the Olympics, also return to the Matildas squad after being unavailable for last month's international window.

The squad features 21 of 23 players who helped Australia qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, with 17 international-based players and six home-based, including Courtnee Vine and Jada Whyman from A-League Women title winners Sydney FC.

"The squad we have named ... is based on their performances for their respective clubs and also in our national team environment," Gustavsson said.

"Some players are selected based on past performances, in tournaments and in previous camps, while others are chosen for their current strong form.

"With the Olympics approaching, selection is about seeing the overall picture over four years of performance and assembling the best team possible."

The squad for the Olympics will be announced in June.

AUSTRALIA'S SQUAD FOR TWO-GAME CHINA SERIES:

Steph Catley (capt), Mackenzie Arnold, Ellie Carpenter, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Sharn Freier, Charlotte Grant, Winonah Heatley, Michelle Heyman, Clare Hunt, Alanna Kennedy, Teagan Micah, Courtney Nevin, Clare Polkinghorne, Hayley Raso, Kaitlyn Torpey, Emily van Egmond, Cortnee Vine, Clare Wheeler, Jada Whyman, Lydia Williams, Tameka Yallop.

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