Injured Santa Cruz misses Paraguay game

October 7, 2008

Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz has withdrawn from the Paraguay squad for the World Cup Qualifying fixtures with Colombia and Peru.

Santa Cruz sustained a hamstring injury in Saturday's 2-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester United at Ewood Park and will not recover in time to face Colombia in Bogota on October 11, with the Peru fixture following four days later.

Blackburn will assess Santa Cruz's fitness and the striker expects to stay with the club for treatment, rather than travel to Paraguay.

Santa Cruz told Paraguayan radio AM 970: "I am undergoing physiotherapy here at the club. The national team doctors will be faxed a report about the results of an MRI scan and, depending on that, I will know whether I have to travel to Paraguay.

"To be honest, the affected muscle hurts a lot and I am unable to run because it needs some time to recover.

"Unfortunately, I will miss both games. I would love to be with my team-mates but if I can, I will support them from here. There are lots of possibilities that I follow the treatment here so I would not need to fly to Asuncion."