Ecuador manager Gustavo Alfaro to wait and see on player fitness

Ecuador manager Gustavo Alfaro has pledged to wait until the last moment for injured players to prove their fitness for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Among those battling to recover in time are Monterrey winger Joao Rojas, Santos Laguna forward Ayrton Preciado, and Sao Paulo defender Robert Arboleda.

Rojas is the biggest doubt, having suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last weekend. Preciado is recuperating from a fractured tibia, while Arboleda has an ankle ligament tear.

“I told the lads that I am going to wait for them until the last day because there are some who have earned their place and others who want to be there,” Alfaro said on Thursday. “They know that they are important to the group.”

He added that Preciado and Arboleda are the most likely to be available for football’s showpiece tournament, to be played from November 21 to December 18.

“Preciado will be okay in 15 days,” he said. “Arboleda has begun strengthening work to regain the muscle he lost.”

Ecuador have been drawn into Group A alongside Qatar, the Netherlands and Senegal. ■

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