Colombia’s national soccer team will have an anxious wait in the coming months regarding the fitness of star midfielder Juan Cuadrado after an update from his club manager revealed on Tuesday that he is not near a return to action.
Cuadrado underwent surgery on a groin injury in January and was expected to be back within two months but it is now unclear as to when he will return or if he will play before the end of the season in May.
“Cuadrado had a check-up on Saturday and is continuing his treatment,” said Massimiliano Allegri in a press conference .
“It’s normal that right now Cuadrado isn’t available, but if you ask me ‘is Cuadrado’s season over?’…
“Hopefully not, but right now Cuadrado isn’t available, then if he will be after the international break, in 20 days or in a month we’ll see,” he added.
The Antioquia-born winger has not played a game for Juventus since the 1-0 victory against Roma in December 2017 and with the clock counting down towards the World Cup in Russia in the summer, it will be a major worry for Colombia’s national team.
Coach Jose Pekerman will hope that Cuadrado will at least make a return to first team action before he finalizes his squad for world soccer’s most prestigious tournament, a prospect to which Allegri was unable to give a definite indication.
“It’s an inflammation, these things can go away in two days, they can last three months or they can last six months. We hope not,” said the Italian.
“That’s the reality of the situation,” he added when pressed about the player who makes up a fearsome attacking trio with Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez for the national team.
Cuadrado has made 67 appearances for Colombia, scoring 7 goals with his impressive performances at the last World Cup earning him a widespread plaudits with him eventually moving to Premier League side Chelsea in 2015.
While he failed to make a significant impact in England, Cuadrado moved to Juventus on loan later in the same year becoming an integral member of the team.
Cuadrado won back-to-back league and cup doubles and helped his side to secure a Champions League final berth where they were defeated by Real Madrid.
In May of last year, he signed a three-year contract after Juventus agreed a fee of $22.5 million with his parent club Chelsea.
Colombia’s will face group stage games against Japan, Senegal and Poland in this summer’s World Cup after being drawn in Group H.
32 teams will take part in 48 matches in the group stage to determine who qualifies for the second round of the tournament with the top two teams advancing from each group.