Fabio Capello says Owen Hargreaves could still make his World Cup squad but that the Manchester United midfielder must soon start playing.
The 28 year old has been out of action since September last year because of tendinitis in his knees, though he is now back in training, all be it not with the rest of the team. He won the last of his 42 caps against the USA in May 2008.
Hargreaves’ comeback is being carefully managed by United after he underwent ground-breaking surgery in the United States to combat his injuries.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Capello said:
He has time to recover everything. But he has to play, otherwise he will not be with me.
I spoke to him two months ago, I met him in Manchester when he was ready to start training. But now he is not fit.
Owen has six months to recover his good form, but he needs to play football. I will choose players that will be fit in May, the players that play all the games.
When I decide the 23 players that will stay with me, I hope the best players will be fit. This is the reason why I have to follow more players.
I hope he plays, it’s always nice to see one Canadian playing in the World Cup, since I don’t think I’ll live to see the Canadian Nation team play at that level.