Radamel Falcao says a decision is looming over his participation in the upcoming World Cup, with the injured Colombia international conceding that he may have to make a "sensible" decision and drop out of contention.
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Falcao, 28, suffered an ACL injury playing for Monaco on Jan. 21, and was immediately ruled out of this summer's tournament due to the usual recovery time after such a serious operation being around seven months.
However, given his importance to Colombia's World Cup hopes, the striker has been working against the clock to try to return to fitness in time, with national team coach Jose Pekerman having named him in his provisional 30-man squad for the tournament earlier this week.
The former Atletico Madrid player told Marca that he is still hopeful of being fit enough to be named in the final 23-man selection, while also conceding that if he did play at the tournament he would not be at his best.
"In the coming weeks the decision will be made," Falcao said. "I have been battling for many months now and working well. The knee is recovering without a setback, but all is still to be evaluated. I am hitting the ball now and have felt good. But that is one thing, just touching the ball. Another thing is to rejoin the group with maximum professional demands, these are different questions. This second level is where my knee must be able to respond adequately.
"To arrive 100 percent match-fit will be impossible, because I am lacking competitive action. To sum up, if it feels good, I will go. If I see that I am not secure and I cannot bring anything, I will be sensible and not go."
Falcao said he has been pushing himself through recovery sessions to try to return to fitness more quickly.
"I was always optimistic," he said. "This motivation has helped me through every training session, to give the maximum effort, because some of them went over the limit of what is normal for this type of recuperation. That has helped me to be OK."
Meanwhile, the striker's father Radamel Garcia has told Colombian station RCN that he thinks time is running out for his son to make a real impact on the tournament.
"Football-wise, he will not be fully there as until now he has been working on the physical side," Garcia said. "We must wait and see what happens. The doctors, who know about these things, say that clinically to begin to play it takes six or seven months.
"Doing the maths he will not have enough time. He is now recovered about 60 percent, [but still needs] force, pace, resistance -- a combination of things that are fundamental in a high-performance athlete."