Rodriguez out of Colombia's World Cup qualifier against Venezuela
REUTERS - James Rodriguez has been ruled out of Colombia's World Cup qualifier against Venezuela on Thursday because of a thigh injury but could face Brazil five days later, the midfielder's club Bayern Munich have said.
Rodriguez joined Bayern on a two-year loan deal from Spanish champions Real Madrid in July, but has not played for the German club since injuring his right thigh during a defeat by Liverpool in a pre-season friendly at the start of August.
"The Colombian FA has called up James Rodriguez for the World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela on 31 August and Brazil on 5 September," Bayern said in a statement confirming that the midfielder would travel to South America.
"However, the 26-year-old will not be available for selection in the first match, as an examination by FCB club medic Dr Volker Braun revealed. This has been agreed with the Colombia international.
"It remains to be seen if James will be available for the second match, the decision will be made after consultation with Dr Volker Braun and the Colombian national team doctor."
Colombia are currently second in the South American qualifying standings, nine points behind Brazil and a point ahead of Uruguay and Chile with four matches remaining.
The top four teams in the South American group qualify directly for Russia, while the team in fifth-place, currently occupied by Argentina, face a two-legged inter-continental play-off against a team from the Oceania zone.
(Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)