Nawalka hopeful of Glik return against Colombia

Poland is hoping key centre-back Kamil Glik will return from injury against Colombia in what is a crucial World Cup clash.

Published : Jun 23, 2018 23:49 IST

Poland coach Adam Nawalka is hopeful defender Kamil Glik will return to the pitch against Colombia on Sunday.

Having lost its World Cup opener to Senegal 2-1, Poland's clash with the South Americans takes on extra importance, particularly given Jose Pekerman's side began its tournament with a defeat to Japan by the same scoreline.

Glik missed the team's first game due a shoulder injury, which he sustained in a game of football-volleyball in training at the start of June.

The news dealt the side a significant blow as it robbed it of its best defender and, while it was not confirmed that he will return in Kazan, Nawalka says the 30-year-old has recovered "in a commanding way".

"Kamil is training," Nawalka told reporters in his pre-match news conference.

"He has been training all the time, making up for the time he lost due to injury. When it comes to tactics and the line-up, I am thinking about the basic squad tomorrow, but a decision will be made after training [on Saturday].

"I'm very happy Glik is returning to his excellent form and that he is very strongly determined to return to the pitch.

"This is a rare example of a player, who, after such a serious injury, is so strongly motivated.

"He has recuperated in commanding way. We want him back, but he also needs time. Whether that time has come or not, I will decide later after training."

James Rodriguez started Colombia's defeat to Japan on the bench having been suffering from an injury of his own, but he is expected to be back in the line-up on Sunday.

And Poland midfielder Piotr Zielinski is under no illusion as to how big an impact James' return could have on Colombia, for whom he is a "driving force".

"We know what James can do," Zielinski said. "He has played at a top level, so I believe the Colombia team appreciates that.

"He is the locomotive of the Colombian team, their driving force. He can be very dangerous and we must be prepared to counter him, but there will be others we also have to work out [how to stop]."

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