There will be no fairytale appearance at the World Cup finals for Paraguay striker Salvador Cabanas, who had hoped to make a remarkable recovery from a gunshot to the head to play at this summer’s tournament in South Africa.
The Club America forward’s shooting in January stunned the footballing world, but his tale of recovery has been even more awe-inspiring. He left intensive care just 22 days after being struck down in an attack in a Mexico City bar, vowing to turn out for his national team this summer. "When we were in the room he spoke in Guarani [an indigenous language of Paraguay] and he said, 'Dad I will play in the World Cup'," Cabanas’ father told newspaper Ultima Hora just a matter of days after the incident.
Sadly for the player, who still has the bullet lodged in his skull and who has been advised that playing again will be very dangerous, it appears he will not be able to hold true to that pledge.
“He certainly has recovered his functions, but will not be eligible to play football for a long time,” Club America doctor Alfonso Diaz told the press, indicating that it could be another 18 months before the prolific 29-year-old can again take to the field.
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