AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- U.S. women's national team stars Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe will have their minutes managed to start the Women's World Cup, while Julie Ertz is fully fit to play, U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said on Friday.
"Rose actually has been really good -- she's trained with the team now for a good three weeks, and off-and-on she trained with us before that," Andonovski said. "She's ready to play and we're not going to force a lot of minutes from the beginning. We'll ease everything up as we move on."
He added: "From minutes management, Julie is 100% where Megan is in the same boat like Rose. Her minutes are probably going to grow as the tournament goes by."
All three players missed the USWNT's send-off game July 9. At the time, Andonovski said Ertz was ahead of Lavelle and Rapinoe, who were in "the buildup stage."
"They're healthy, they're medically cleared, and now it's just getting them physically ready to play minutes," Andonovski said July 9.
Andonovski echoed the same sentiment Friday, telling reporters: "They're ready to play -- from a medical standpoint, everyone's available."
Lavelle injured her knee in a friendly against Ireland on April 9, and at the time Andonovski called it "a little knock" and held her out of a friendly three days later for what he described as "a precaution." However, she hasn't featured for club or country since.
Rapinoe has been out since June 10 because of a calf injury she sustained in a match with her club, OL Reign.
The USWNT opens its Women's World Cup against Vietnam on Saturday (9 p.m. ET Friday in the U.S.) at Eden Park Stadium. Despite some players being on limited minutes, Andonovski said, "Everybody's healthy and ready to play."