Jul 28, 2014, 8:22 PM EDT
As talk about moving to Real Madrid has started to die down, Radamel Falcao is nearing a return to the field. According to Monaco’s new head coach, the Colombian international, out since January with a knee injury, is expected to return this weekend when the Ligue 1 runners-up take part in the Emirates Cup.
Monaco will play back-to-back games in North London, facing Valencia on Saturday before taking on the tournament’s hosts, Arsenal, on the final day. Benfica will also take part in the four-team competition.
Barring any setbacks, Falcao will return this weekend, with new head coach Leonardo Jardim saying his first choice striker should play against Los Che.
That recuperation has come as a result of an injury suffered against Toulouse on Jan. 19. To that point, Falcao had been Monaco’s leading scorer, collecting nine goals in his first half season with the club.
This spring, Falcao attempted to return from early his knee surgery to take part in this summer’s World Cup, but by the time José Pekerman selected Colombia’s final squad, a lack of progress left Falcao unable to join the Cafeteros in Brazil. Colombia went on to make the quarterfinals before being eliminated by the host nation.
Despite his injury, Falcao’s spent the summer linked to Real Madrid, where fellow Cafetero and former Monaco teammate James Rodríguez moved earlier this month. Jardim, however, emphasized the striker’s importance to his current club.
“For now, he is a Monaco player and I am counting on him,” the Portuguese coach added.
With Monaco opening its Ligue 1 against Lorient on Aug. 10, time’s running out to get Falcao match fit before the season starts. Given the extent of his injury, however, match fitness may be a secondary concern. First things first: Just get him back on the field.
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