MX23RW : Sunday, September 23 01:35:12

Jose Pekerman fears being without James Rodriguez for England tie

Pekerman fears being without James Rodriguez
© Reuters
Jose Pekerman is pessimistic about James Rodriguez's chances of returning to full fitness in time for Colombia's last-16 showdown with England.

Colombia manager Jose Pekerman has admitted that he is "extremely concerned" about the fitness of star man James Rodriguez ahead of next week's World Cup last-16 tie against England.

The South American side, who topped Group H to make it through to the knockout rounds, relied heavily on the Bayern Munich loanee during their qualifying campaign.

James has completed just one full match so far in Russia, however, having carried a calf injury into the tournament that has plagued him throughout the group phase.

After playing the final 31 minutes in the 2-1 loss to Japan, the 26-year-old then played the whole 90 against Poland, only to limp off after half an hour against Senegal on Thursday afternoon.

Pekerman now fears being without James in four days' time for the crunch clash with England.

"I am extremely concerned. It's a tough situation for my team and a topic that could overshadow everything else," he told reporters. "It's not a comfortable situation for us. He trained normally yesterday, he was fully fit, no hint of injury.

"But right now I don't know where he stands to be honest. Hopefully there will be good news after he has been for his medical examination."

James has had a hand in 10 goals in eight World Cup appearances, scoring six and setting up four more.

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Colombia celebrate after beating Uruguay in the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup
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