Photo: Radamel Falcao
The Portuguese surgeon who will repair Colombian and AS Monaco star striker Radamel Falcao’s torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee says there is still a chance the player could recover in time to play in this year’s World Cup .
“His willpower is important, but we only have five months, we’re at the limit. We’ll have to see,” Jose Carlos Noronha, regarded as one of the world’s top ACL specialists, told Efe ahead of the operation, scheduled for Saturday.
The 27-year-old star was injured during a French Cup match Wednesday against fourth-division side Monts d’Or Azergues Foot that Monaco won 3-0. Falcao scored a goal early in the game.
The Colombian international sustained the injury when he was tripped up from behind by defender Soner Ertek, and he was visibly in pain while being carried off the field on a stretcher.
The surgeon said Friday that the player is in good spirits and compared his situation to that of Real Madrid’s Pepe, who sustained a similar injury in December 2009.
In that case, the Portuguese defender recovered in just over five months and was able to compete for his homeland in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Falcao, however, only has four months and 20 days before the first match of the World Cup in Brazil kicks off on June 13.
The superstar striker, who played for Portuguese club Porto from 2009 to 2011 before moving to Atletico Madrid and later to his current club, French-league side AS Monaco, will first undergo rehab for up to three weeks in Portugal.
Falcao, meanwhile, said in a message to his fans on AS Monaco’s Web site that he is still holding out hope that he can recover in time to play for his country in Brazil.
“I do not conceal from you, my sadness is immense, my heart is broken, but some hope is enough to believe that my dream to participate in the World Cup is still alive. God makes possible the improbable and I believe in him.”
Colombia, which qualified for soccer’s biggest showcase for the first time since 1998, is in Group C along with Greece, Japan and the Ivory Coast.
The Colombian striker also has played a big role in Monaco’s success this season. The club is currently in second place in the French league behind Paris Saint-Germain.