Diaz: James absence hurts Colombia

The Real Madrid forward sustained a shoulder injury during Tuesday's fixture against the United States, and is a major doubt for this week's clash with Paraguay

Paraguay coach Ramon Diaz feels that James Rodriguez's absence would be a significant blow to Colombia at the Copa America Centenario.

James is battling a shoulder injury suffered in the opening game of the tournament against the United States, but will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness for Tuesday's clash.

Diaz admits that Colombia have a deep squad, but maintains that they will find the game significantly harder to win if James is ruled out.

"It would be very significant," he told a news conference. "He's one of the best players in the world. He has class and great football and human quality.

"It is a significant loss, but Colombia has other good players at good levels and have options to replace him."

Paraguay are third in Group A after opening their tournament with a 0-0 draw against Costa Rica, and Diaz says his side must play intelligently if they are to defeat Colombia.

"We have to be very smart. They had an extra day of recovery and didn't have to travel," Diaz added.

"These are things that must be taken into account because we made a huge effort against Costa Rica."