Colombia's Aguilar ruled out against Senegal due to injury
SAMARA, Russia (AP) — Midfielder Abel Aguilar won't play for Colombia on Thursday against Senegal because of a left adductor injury.
Aguilar was injured in the first half of Colombia's 3-0 victory over Poland last Sunday in Kazan and had to be stretchered off the field.
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said Aguilar wouldn't be available in the team's decisive final group match in Samara, but he did not rule the 33-year-old veteran out of the rest of the tournament should Colombia advance.
Aguilar underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Pekerman said Wednesday the injury wasn't as serious as feared but it would still keep him out of the group finale.
"We just need to give it a few days and see if he'll be ready then," Pekerman said.
Aguilar was replaced against Poland by Mateus Uribe. But Pekerman, who praised Uribe's play, would not say if he would start against Senegal.
"Uribe came on in a complicated match and he lived up to our expectations," said Peckerman, who called Uribe the team's 12th man.
Japan and Senegal lead Group H with four points apiece. Colombia has three and could advance if it beats Senegal, and both could go through with a draw if Japan loses. Poland has been eliminated.
Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina, who injured his right foot against Poland, has fully recovered after treatment on Monday.
A previous version of this story corrected the surname of the Colombia coach to Pekerman, not Peckerman.