SYDNEY (AP) — Colombia coach Nelson Abadia said 18-year-old star Linda Caicedo is fit and able to play the final Women’s World Cup group game against Morocco.
Caicedo has been one of the stars of the tournament so far with goals in Colombia’s opening two games. Her play has put Colombia atop Group H and on the brink of advancing to the knockout stage.
But there have been concerns about her health, which has been described as battles with exhaustion and fatigue. Caicedo struggled first in training and then during a 2-1 upset win over Germany, the second-ranked team in the world.
She was seen holding her chest and then dropping to the ground during a practice session ahead of the Germany game. Then, late in the match against Germany, she dropped to her knees behind the play before lying face down on the grass as Colombia’s medical staff went to her aid.
Abadia said Caicedo has been cleared to play Morocco on Thursday in Perth following medical tests.
“She was going through a check-up so as to be sure that she is at 100%,” he said. “You can be sure she is at 100%. What happens with Linda is that we want to make sure that she is at 100% and that she herself feels and knows that she is OK, and she is.
“The exams were some X-rays and all the results were perfect. But we are seeking the player’s calmness.”
Caicedo has already overcome a bout with ovarian cancer that she was diagnosed with at age 15. Now a star for Real Madrid, she came into the World Cup hyped as one of the brightest young stars in the women’s game.
She has lived up to it with her performances in leading Colombia to back-to-back wins. Colombia needs only a point against Morocco to be guaranteed a place in the round of 16 as the Group H winner.
Abadia insisted her welfare was being monitored by the team’s medical staff.
“She was not feeling well during one of the trainings, but it was brief,” he said. “We are always very careful in terms of players’ health. If the hair hurts, I’ll call a hairdresser so that you are doing well.”
Source : AP NEWS