Venus Williams will travel to Germany for Fed Cup

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Venus Williams will travel to Germany with the U.S. Fed Cup team for their World Group playoff later this month and could be available for duty if fit, American captain Mary Joe Fernandez said on Tuesday.

The seven-times grand slam winner has not played since withdrawing from her third-round match of the Australian Open in January with an abdominal injury.

"She has been rehabbing and hopefully she'll be able to practice," Fernandez said during a conference call to announce the squad. "I don't expect her to be able to play but obviously if in the next 10 days she's playing great and feeling fit then there is always that possibility."

By making herself available for Fed Cup duty, the United States Tennis Association said Williams has also fulfilled qualification requirements for the 2012 London Olympics.

With Williams not back to full fitness and her sister Serena recovering from a pulmonary embolism, Fernandez turned to Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Melanie Oudin, Liezel Huber and Christina McHale for the April 16-17 tie that will be played indoors on clay in Stuttgart.

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Frank Pingue)