It’s been three weeks since Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez suffered a muscle injury in a friendly against Liverpool. Since then, the Colombian press has been speculating whether he would be ready to play for Colombia versus Venezuela and Brazil in its upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday that James has started individual training, but he is not being rushed back and has been ruled out for this Saturday’s Bundesliga game against Werder Bremen.
This week, Colombia manager José Pékerman traveled to Munich to talk to James and the club about his availability for the upcoming matches with Colombia. Reports from Colombia suggest that James would be ready for both games. Bayern’s medical staff, however, has ruled him out for the clash against Venezuela on Aug. 31, although he should be able to play Sept. 5 against main rival Brazil. It’s been also strongly implied that his recovery has been slowed down by the Bayern Munich’s doctors.
Due to the attacking midfielder’s importance to the Colombian squad as its captain and leader, the Colombian Football Federation has been known to pressure James’s past clubs to let him travel with the national team, even when he has been injured. Hopefully both the club and the Colombian national team will make the right decision for James’s recovery. The Colombian squad should be announced Thursday or Friday.