It seems like a team with injury problems is more the rule instead of the exception as we are 15 days away from the beginning of the World Cup in Brazil. Colombian midfielder Edwin Valencia was finally sent back home on Wednesday after being unable to recover from a muscular injury that prevented him from practicing with the national team over in their Los Cardales complex just outside Buenos Aires.
“I have news that is not too fortunate for everyone here. Edwin Valencia will not be able to take part in the World Cup,” said coach José Pekerman in Wednesday’s press conference at the Hotel Sofitel. “It is a very important loss as he was a player that contributed a great deal to the national team.”
Pekerman also mentioned that Valencia’s recovery time would be too long for him to be able to play in the World Cup and that is the reason why the decision was already made.
Valencia has played in over 100 matches for Brazilian side Fluminense and this past season saw well over 30 appearances between Brasileirão (Brazilian league), cup and state tournaments.
With the loss of Valencia, the squad is down to 26 players after the release of players MacNelly Torres, Aquivaldo Mosquera and Mainz man Elkin Soto.
The loss of Valencia will also give Atlético Nacional man Alexander Mejía a chance to shine as there have been inquiries from teams abroad for his services. Mejía is one of the hot commodities of Nacional especially after the club won the league title for an unprecedented third consecutive time since the implementation of the short tournaments in the South American country.
The other player that is questionable due to health problems is Cruz Azul’s Luis Amaranto Perea. The former Atlético Madrid man has seen some complications in the recovery of a groin injury that has hampered him throughout the month.
The injury affected Perea during the latter stages of the season, especially in the elimination of the reigning CONCACAF Champions League winners in the Liga MX playoff at the hands of eventual two-time champs León.
There was also news regarding Radamel Falcao and his status. Coach Pekerman stated that he would wait until the last minute for the AS Monaco goalscorer. During a brief statement about the Santa Marta native, Pekerman made it clear that he would give Falcao every chance to prove to him that he would be able to contribute to the team right up until the final list of 23 is given to FIFA.
Colombia will debut in Belo Horizonte on June 14 against Greece, then face Ivory Coast in Brasilia five days later, before finishing off with Japan over in Cuiabá on June 24.