- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MONACO (AP) - Monaco striker Radamel Falcao boosted his bid to recover in time to play for Colombia in the World Cup after successfully completing the first phase of his recovery following a left-knee operation.

The French club said in a statement on Wednesday the Colombia forward will go to a sports clinic in Madrid on Thursday to pursue the second phase “in close collaboration with the medical department of Monaco.”

Dr. Jose Carlos Noronha operated on Falcao on Jan. 25 in Portugal, and gave him “a 55 percent chance of playing in the World Cup.”

Colombia’s first game is against Greece on June 14.

Monaco and the player would like to thank all the people who took care of Falcao, in particular the medical department of Dr. Jose Carlos Noronha and (the) club of FC Porto,” Monaco said.

The 28-year-old Falcao, who joined Monaco from Atletico Madrid in a deal worth 60 million euros ($78 million) in the offseason, tore knee ligaments following a heavy challenge during a French Cup game against amateur side Chasselay on Jan. 22.

Monaco recently signed the former Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov from English Premier League side Fulham to fill in for Falcao until the end of the season.

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