FABRICIO Coloccini is confident he’ll return from Argentina duty fit and ready for Everton – despite an injury scare and a 25,000-mile round trip.
Coloccini has been called up by his country for their World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Peru.
But the defender limped out of a training camp yesterday with a muscle injury in his right leg, leaving United sweating on his fitness.
Coloccini has been ruled out of the game against Paraguay tomorrow, and will have his fitness monitored ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Peru.
The fact that he hasn’t been immediately sent back to Tyneside suggests it isn’t too serious, but the fact he has a problem – and with fellow defenders Ryan Taylor, Danny Simpson and James Perch also injured – leaves Alan Pardew concerned about his back four options ahead of the Magpies’ next game at Everton on September 17.
Coloccini, the club’s influential captain, is grateful that the Goodison Park clash has been put back two days for live broadcast.
The 30-year-old – who has only missed a handful of Premier League games through injury in his career at St James’s Park – knows this season will be his most gruelling yet for the club, such will be the demands of playing at home, in Europe and on the international stage.
“Of course, it’s going to be harder than the last year,” Coloccini said.
“We have to take care of our bodies, and try to stay fit.
“It’s far away – a 12-hour flight – but when I go to play for Argentina, I don’t think about the hours. It’s not a problem.”
Coloccini was recalled to the Argentina squad this season after a lengthy absence, though his club-mate Jonas Gutierrez is not involved in the next two games.
Alejandro Sabella’s side take on Paraguay in Cordoba tomorrow, and travel to Lima to take on Peru on September 11.
Coloccini’s was an unused substitute when Argentina beat Germany in an international friendly last month.
He was short of fitness at the time, having missed the season-opener against Tottenham, but having played two league games since then, Coloccini’s hopeful of forcing his way back into contention providing his latest injury isn’t too serious.
“I have been called up by Argentina – we play against Paraguay and Peru,” he added.
“They are World Cup qualifers. They are important games. Always, I love to play for Argentina, so it’s good news.”