Colombia’s most successful soccer player of recent times, Radamel Falcao, is left out of Manchester United’s squad for the coming two weeks, as the true state of his fitness remains a question mark.
The Colombian center forward has gone missing with a calf injury in the last three games for Manchester United, and has featured in only two matches in the last six weeks in England. He also missed out on the latest string of Colombia’s friendly games.
Just as the date of his return was approaching, the club’s manager Louis Van Gaal announced on Thursday night that “El Tigre” relapsed and will be out for at least two more weeks.
“Now it’s four weeks already. Next week he shall train and then he needs two weeks. It’s a pity, but players in football are injured,” said the Dutch coach.
The club’s official Twitter account explained that Louis van Gaal’s remarks about a “new injury” in his Thursday media conference refer to Falcao’s recent calf problem.
“The word “new” was used to distinguish this from a previous knee injury (anterior cruciate ligament damage he suffered in January),” reads the statement.
This would suggest the striker hasn’t suffered from another injury, but rather that his recover is taking longer than expected.
The English media revealed earlier this month that Van Gaal already has doubts about Falcao’s ability to endure a long English Premier League season. Until now, statistics show just one goal and three league starts.
Only two days ago, the Colombian forward came out to dismiss doubts over his long-term fitness issues.
“I feel well and I hope to come back to the pitch soon,” said Falcao, before adding “it is disappointing that I can’t play, but I have to be calm and recover because that is important to help the team when I return to the games.”
He also added that recent injury reports are mere supposition and that “it detracts from the credibility of the media that there is so much speculation and so many falsehoods.”
However, in the light of continuous fitness troubles, it is now believed that Manchester United won’t decide to keep the Colombian any longer than until the end of the season. The player is currently on-loan from AS Monaco, but if the English club wishes to make the deal permanent, it would have to put together $82 million next summer.