Chile is preparing to play Honduras without striker Humberto Suazo, if he doesn’t recover from an injury in time for the team’s opening World Cup match.
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Suazo has been troubled by a left thigh injury, but looks set to be available for Wednesday’s opener against Honduras in Group H.
"He’s achieved a lot and everyone knows how important he is, but this team is able to play in a different way if necessary," defender Gonzalo Jara said.
The squad split into two groups for training at the Ingwenyama resort, near Nelspruit, on Monday, with players doing some light jogging and stretching as well as receiving massages.
Suazo was among the group of players who did not emerge for the session that was open to the media.
It still seems unlikely that Suazo will start against Honduras. The thigh injury was supposed to sideline him for three weeks. Wednesday’s match against Honduras comes more than two weeks since he broke down.
"He’s an important player," Chile striker Matias Fernandez said.
Honduras has injury worries of its own, however. David Suazo, the Honduras striker who played at Genoa on loan from Inter Milan last season, seems less likely to be fit than Humberto Suazo.
David Suazo has an injury to his right leg. Honduras trainer Carlos Velasco said Sunday that the striker would not recover in time to face Chile, though the final decision would be taken by coach Reinaldo Rueda.
Wilson Palacios should make it, however. According to Velasco, Palacios has recovered from a left thigh injury and should lead the Honduras midfield on Wednesday.
Group H also includes Spain and Switzerland. Chile faces Switzerland on June 21 in Port Elizabeth and Spain on June 25 in Pretoria. Honduras plays Spain on June 21 and Switzerland on June 25.