Joined: 10 Apr 2018
|Posted: Tue 19 Jun - 10:29 (2018) Post subject: Colombia sweating on fitness of star man James Rodriguez ahe
|Colombia sweating on fitness of star man James Rodriguez ahead of World Cup opener against Japan as he struggles with calf injury
| sbobet online 24 He helped make history for Colombia four years ago and was the key figure in steering his country to consecutive World Cup qualifications for the first time in 20 years. But star man James Rodriguez is now facing a race against time to be fit for Colombia's Group H curtain raiser against Japan in Saransk at the Mordovia Stadium on Tuesday.The 26-year-old has been struggling with a calf strain for over a week and will now undergo a last-minute fitness test before Colombia manager Jose Pekerman decides if he will play.
Alarm bells started ringing when Colombia trained without their star man at their luxurious ski resort base on the banks of the River Volga near Kazan last Thursday.Official word from the Colombia Federation confirmed James had opted to skip training with a 'muscle strain' and instead chose to spend the morning down the gym. While the 2014 Golden Boot winner returned to training on Friday, he trained apart from the main group and is understood to still be feeling pain in his left calf.
sbobet online 24 He was unable to train properly in Colombia's final training session on the eve of the game, and a fitness test revealed he's still struggling with the injury.Of further concern is the fact that this isn't the first time James has had issues with the same muscle. At the end of February, James limped off during Bayern's Champions League clash against Besiktas clutching his calf.'It's nothing serious,' manager Jupp Heynckes explained. 'He came off because he was feeling a lot of pain in his calf.'
James ended up missing three weeks of football. Additionally, in January 2017 he spent another three weeks on the side-lines following similar problems.Losing the Bayern Munich midfielder would be a massive blow for Colombia, who are again hoping to spring a surprise in Russia by matching their last-eight finish four years ago. James was in sparking form and arguably the tournament's best player as Colombia lit up the Brazil World Cup.Colombia boss Pekerman has since largely built his team around the No 10, giving him a free role to float between the lines and influence the game.
sbobet online 24 He underlined his importance to the team with six goals and four assists in qualifying, providing a hand in 48 per cent of Colombia's total goals.Colombia's World Cup preparations already suffered a serious knockback on the eve of the tournament when first-choice left back Frank Fabra ruptured his ACL and was ruled out of World Cup. It was a cruel blow for the 27-year-old who had been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League with Everton.Coach Pekerman is also sweating on the fitness of Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado who is another doubt for this game.