Injury Not Major Setback For Mexico’s Guardado

Posted Thursday, March 04, 2010 by YAHOO Sport

Andres Guardado had been having a fine season with Deportivo La Coruña before tearing knee ligaments in January.

Originally given a lengthy recovery timetable, Guardado returned sooner than anticipated and returned to action with his Spanish club.

But while he admitted that he is not fully healthy, he said the opportunity to play for Mexico in the one and only FIFA date before the World Cup was important.

"I feel very good," Guardado told reporters. "Nobody likes to get hurt but I'm very happy because the rehabilitation went very well, even earlier than I was told at the start.

Guardado was a key player for Mexico in their World Cup qualifying campaign and scored an important goal for El Tri in a clutch 3-0 win at Costa Rica in September. While the injury was a setback, his goals for the summer have not changed.

"Everything is going very well. My idea is to finish the season with Depor, and to continue playing because everyone wants to get to the World Cup at their best level," he said.

Mexico will have the chance to use their full roster in their game against New Zealand. Nine European-based players were called in for the match and Mexico manager Javier Aguirre will have the chance to use veterans such as Guardado, Carlos Salcido and Rafael Marquez together with some of the younger prospects who did not play much or at all in qualifying such as Jonathan Dos Santos and Javier Hernandez.

The entire process, which began with a 5-0 win over Bolivia last week, is something Guardado said would help the team get to the World Cup the best way possible.

"In each game, we are improving," he said. "There will be some games that are complicated, like (Wednesday's). New Zealand is going to the World Cup and will come with their best players. They will want to get to the World Cup the best way possible, much like we do, and we are very motivated."

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