MONACO (AP) — Monaco and Colombia striker Radamel Falcao says he has not given up hope of playing in this year's World Cup despite tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a French Cup game on Wednesday.
Falcao will have major surgery to repair the damage in coming days, and typically rehabilitation from such injuries takes many months.
The World Cup in Brazil starts on June 12, and Colombia's first match is on June 14 against Greece. Japan and Ivory Coast are also in Group C.
"I am not going to hide that my sadness is huge," Falcao said Thursday on Twitter. "My heart is destroyed. But I still hold faith of playing at the World Cup. God makes the impossible possible. I believe in Him".
Falcao was stretchered off the field after damaging his knee during a French Cup match on Wednesday when he was tackled by Chasselay center half Soner Ertek.
"The player will have surgery in next few days. Doctors will do everything possible to speed up recovery," Monaco said in a statement.
Falcao has 20 goals in 51 international appearances, including nine goals in qualifying for this year's World Cup.
"He choose to go to Portugal, where he knows doctors he trusts, and we're following his condition," Colombian federation president Luis Bedoya said.
Falcao was examined in Portugal by Dr. Jose Carlos Noronha, who told the Colombian radio station Caracol that swelling must subside before a date for the operation can be set.
"I cannot say that he will miss the World Cup," Noronha said.
After Wednesday's game, Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri criticized referee Philippe Kalt for not taking firmer action against Chasselay's players.
"If Falcao has a serious injury, it's the referee's fault. It's not possible to let things go like that," Ranieri said. "When there are fouls, you have to whistle. When it's a bad foul, you have to get a yellow card out, and if there's another bad foul, then it's a red. Tonight I saw neither."