UMM ŞALĀL ‘ALĪ, Qatar — There was positive news on the Canadian medical front Sunday with Alphonso Davies saying he is good to go for Canada's World Cup opener despite a hamstring strain suffered playing for Bayern Munich.
While Canada Soccer has not made Davies available at its daily availability, the 22-year-old from Edmonton pronounced himself ready in an interview with TSN.
"I'm ready to start," he said.
Now he just has to convince the Canadian medical staff.
Canada, ranked 41st, makes its first appearance at the men's soccer showcase in 36 years when it takes on No. 2 Belgium in Group F play Wednesday.
"We want him on the field," said midfielder Jonathan Osorio. "He's our star player. He's a very important player for us … We'll see what the medical staff (say) when they examine him along with the coaching staff. In the end they decide, along with Alphonso if he's ready to go.
"Of course him saying that is a huge positive for us."
Davies arrived in Qatar on Friday evening after undergoing treatment back at Bayern Munich for the injury sustained Nov. 6 in a Bundesliga game at Hertha Berlin.
"When I picked up the injury at first I was devastated, not just for me, but for the team that I was playing on at the time and obviously the World Cup," Davies said. "But luckily it wasn't too bad of an injury and now we're still in recovery, we're still trying to heal. And yeah, it's going well, and I'm just happy to be here and happy to represent my country."
In speaking to reporters Saturday, Canada coach John Herdman was more cautious about Davies' participation Wednesday
Herdman said that while Davies was able to take part in some of the contact work in training, "he's still building towards hitting his top speed.''
"He hasn't hit that top speed yet and when you have hamstring injuries that's always the key moment. That's when the hamstring is pushed to its limits.''
Davies was more upbeat.
"I know they wouldn't put me on the pitch if it was, you know, 50-50. I think they 100 per cent knew that I'll be able to recover well and be able to play this tournament."
Davies took part in the brief portions of the training session open to media on Saturday and Sunday
"It's a big boost, because we know how important a player he is for us and what he brings to the team," forward Jonathan David said. "So, of course, if he's 100 percent, we're all happy."
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2022
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press