BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Radamel Falcao, who is recovering from left-knee surgery, was named Tuesday in Colombia's preliminary 30-man squad for the World Cup.
Coach Jose Pekerman has until June 2 to name the final 23-man squad.
Falcao has been sidelined since January. If he recovers in time — surgeons initially gave him a 50-50 chance — Colombia could be one of the real threats in the World Cup.
"I am getting better and I'm very happy with how the knee is reacting," Falcao wrote this week on social media. "I'm starting on the pitch with the ball, again getting used to what used to be familiar."
Falcao has been in Monaco, Spain and Portugal undergoing his rehab.
If Falcao can't make it back, more responsibility for Colombia's attack will rest with James Rodriguez, who plays with Falcao at Monaco.
Colombia's defense looks solid. It is led by 38-year-old Mario Yepes, who has made more than 100 international appearances. Colombia allowed only 13 goals in 16 matches to have the best record in South American qualifying.
Colombia plays in Group C and opens on June 14 against Greece. It also faces Ivory Coast and Japan and is playing in its first World Cup since 1998.