Aguero trains, Di Maria missing
Argentina striker Sergio Aguero trained normally on Sunday and looked fully recovered from injury, but fellow forward Angel Di Maria was missing amid speculation his World Cup is over.
Argentina are juggling options ahead of Wednesday’s semifinal with the Netherlands in Sao Paulo.
Team doctor Daniel Martinez was due to give an update on both Di Maria, who hobbled out of Argentina’s 1-0 quarterfinal win against Belgium with an injured thigh, and Aguero, recovering from a muscle strain, later on Sunday.
On the evidence of an afternoon training session at the Argentine camp in Belo Horizonte, the fast and powerful Aguero looks at least fit enough for a place on the substitutes’ bench and should make an appearance after missing two games.
But Argentine media are speculating Di Maria, who was receiving a scan on Sunday, may not play again in this tournament. He is the South Americans’ most creative player after captain Lionel Messi.
At least another striker, Gonzalo Higuain, has returned to form with a wonderful instinctive strike against Belgium that gave Argentina passage to the semifinals for the first time since 1990.
Roared on by tens of thousands of fans who have crossed the border, Argentina are bidding for a third World Cup. To achieve it on the soil of rivals Brazil would be especially sweet.
The squad looked relaxed during Sunday’s training, laughing and joking with trainer Alejandro Sabella.
They are based at local team AtleticoMineiro’s training complex, where motivational banners in blue-and-white colours give them encouragement as fans huddle at the gates outside.