James Rodriguez at Bayern Munich

Colombia’s Pekerman on James Rodriguez’s chances of playing against England

Colombia manager José Pékerman has this evening provided an update on James Rodriguez’s fitness, ahead of his side’s clash with England tomorrow.

Matchup

The South American giants advanced to the Last-16 of the World Cup courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Senegal in their final Group H outing last Thursday.

However, the win came at a cost, with star man James Rodriguez having been forced off with a first-half calf injury.

James Rodriguez

SAMARA, RUSSIA – JUNE 28: James Rodriguez of Colombia looks dejected as he is substituted off due to injury during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group H match between Senegal and Colombia at Samara Arena on June 28, 2018 in Samara, Russia. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Worrying

The immediate updates on the 26-year-old’s well-being following the clash were less than reassuring for Colombia, with manager Pekerman having revealed that he was ‘extremely concerned’ by Rodriguez’s problem.

As such, it was widely predicted that the gifted midfielder would be absent for La Tricolor’s Last-16 meeting with England.

‘Good news’

However, all hope regarding Rodriguez’s chances of lining versus Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions tomorrow night is not yet lost, with Jose Pekerman having revealed to reporters this evening that he and his staff have ‘hope’ that their talisman could recover in time:

‘We had good news after his medical tests. After his MRI (scan) we knew that he doesn’t have a serious injury.’

‘We still have one-and-a-half days to see how he feels, and as always we hope that he will be able to play in the following games.’

Pekerman also discussed the possibility of Luis Muriel being handed a start, in the case that Rodriguez is not available:

‘Muriel is an option. He was great during the match against Senegal.’

‘He was able to change the pace, he’s technically gifted and really fast. He works well with the team.’




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