BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Rodrigo Palacio celebrated his inclusion in Argentina's highly competitive World Cup squad by scoring a goal in a warm-up against Trinidad and Tobago.
Then he twisted his right ankle in the same match, and his World Cup appeared to be over before it had started.
Now the 32-year-old Inter Milan striker is training with the team again, and dreaming of getting another chance of representing Argentina on the big stage.
"When I twisted my ankle I got scared because I feared that it might be something serious," Palacio said Tuesday. "But the doctors told me stay calm that it wasn't anything serious. After the MRI scan I calmed down."
Palacio scored 17 goals in the Italian Serie A last season, making him Inter's top marksman and the fourth highest scorer in the league, alongside Argentina team mate Gonzalo Higuain, who plays for Napoli, and Udinese's Antonio Di Natale.
Still, that's barely enough to make the bench in Argentina, which is blessed with more firepower than most teams in the tournament.
"I know that the starters are (Sergio) Aguero, Higuain and (Lionel) Messi," Palacio said. "But I'm ready in case the coach needs me, perhaps for a change of tactics."
Palacio hasn't seen any World Cup action since 2006, when he came on as a second-half substitute for Hernan Crespo in Argentina's opener against Ivory Coast. He wasn't called up for the 2010 tournament.
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