November 22, 2014
Di Maria out against Netherlands, Agüero cleared to play
Argentina striker Sergio Agüero was cleared to play this Wednesday in the World Cup semi-final against the Netherlands after recovering from injury, while winger Angel Di Maria was ruled out with a muscle problem but could appear before the end of the tournament.
Argentina are juggling options ahead of Wednesday's semi-final with the Netherlands in Sao Paulo.
Team doctor Daniel Martínez explained following today's training session that Di María was suffering from "a muscle injury of the least serious type," after carrying out studies on the Real Madrid player.
A tear in his right thigh, as had been speculated in many local media outlets, was ruled out, and the player could return to play a hypothetical final next Sunday should Argentina win in the last-four.
The medic added that 'El Kun', who missed the matches against Switzerland and Belgium, had made a full recovery from his muscle strain and would be available for selection.
On the evidence of an afternoon training session at the Argentine camp in Belo Horizonte, the fast and powerful Aguero looks at least fit enough for a place on the substitutes' bench and should make an appearance after missing two games.
At least another striker, Gonzalo Higuaín, has returned to form with a wonderful instinctive strike against Belgium that gave Argentina passage to the semi-finals for the first time since 1990.
Roared on by tens of thousands of fans who have crossed the border, Argentina are bidding for a third World Cup. To achieve it on the soil of rivals Brazil would be especially sweet.
The squad looked relaxed during training, laughing and joking with trainer Alejandro Sabella.
They are based at local team Atletico Mineiro's training complex, where motivational banners in blue-and-white colours give them encouragement as fans huddle at the gates outside.