Updates from Thursday, June 12
Kolo Toure says he is 100 percent healthy and ready to take his place in Ivory Coast's starting line-up for their opening World Cup encounter with Japan.
Toure had been suffering with malaria, but he delivered the following update, per the Daily Mail's Julian Bennetts:
I feel great.
The malaria was just for two days. Obviously we have the medical department that knows malaria very well and they gave me tablets. I was in bed for two days.
When they heard the news everyone was talking. I had a phone call from my club, from people around the world.
I’m absolutely fine because my body is used to that kind of sickness, it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time.
The Ivory Coast national team received a potential setback just before the 2014 World Cup, as the team has announced defender Kolo Toure is being treated for malaria.
The 33-year-old defender fell ill on a trip home to Abidjan before joining the team's World Cup training camp in Dallas, the team's doctor said.
Cyrille Dah told the Ivorian Football Federation website, www.fif-ci.com: "Since Wednesday Kolo has been having treatment. This treatment will end on Friday. We have therefore told him to rest. He will not participate in the match against Bosnia-Herzegovina (on Saturday), but will return early next week."
ITV notes this isn't the first time that Toure has been treated for the disease, as he also suffered from it in 2008.
The 33-year-old has been a Premier League mainstay at both Arsenal and Manchester City since 2002, and remains the integral center of the back line on Ivory Coast's team despite falling out of favor with Liverpool in his first season there.
Not much time separates this news from the opening of the World Cup on June 12, and Ivory Coast's first match in Brazil comes early on June 14 against Japan.
Group C is wide-open as they join Greece, Colombia and Japan, so having the squad's key defender in the fold will be crucial from the get-go.
With more than 100 national team caps, there's no doubt the back line won't be able to hold up quite as well without Toure's presence.
Didier Drogba is 36, brother Yaya Toure is 31 and Kolo Toure himself is 33, so the window of World Cup opportunity may be closing on the Ivory Coast. It will be a serious crisis averted if Kolo Toure is able to get well in time to be at 100 percent heading into Brazil.