June 29 (UPI) — Colombia coach Jose Pekerman voiced concern regarding star midfielder James Rodriguez following an injury at the 2018 World Cup.
The Bayern Munich star was taken off the pitch in the 31st minute of Colombia’s 1-0 win against Senegal in the Group H finale on Thursday in Samara, Russia. He was seen limping to the sideline before he went straight into the tunnel. Luis Muriel came on as a substitute.
“I am very worried,” Pekerman told reporters. “The situation is tough for the team, it is not an easy situation.”
Rodriguez, 26, did not start in Colombia’s World Cup-opening loss to Japan on June 19. He instead came on in the 59th minute as a substitute. He has been hampered by a calf injury.
Pekerman said Rodriguez trained normally until Thursday. The coach also said he will wait to review medical results before determining if Rodriguez will be available for the round of 16. Pekerman did not confirm or deny if the injury was related to Rodriguez’s calf.
Colombia faces England in the next knockout stage at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Spartak Stadium in Moscow.
“I don’t have any confirmation of injury or any information at all,” Pekerman said. “We must wait. We are hoping that it will be good news after the medical tests and then we will know for sure what has happened.”
The 2014 World Cup Golden Boot Award winner has yet to score at the 2018 World Cup. He has two assists at the tournament and hasn’t had an on-target attempt at net. Rodriguez has 21 goals in 66 international appearances. He had six scores and two helpers at the 2014 tournament.