Ronaldinho may miss upcoming World Cup qualifier

Ronaldinho traveled with the Brazilian team to Peru, but his injured ankle may drop him off the upcoming World Cup qualifier.

Ronaldinho did not take part in the squad's final scrimmage on Friday, doing weight training while the starting team played against the reserves at Brazil's mountain training camp in Teresopolis, near Rio.

Manchester City's Elano took Ronaldinho's place on the "A" team. On Thursday, Diego of Werder Bremen got the nod to replace Ronaldinho, who practiced for 20 minutes and then left the field, nursing his ankle.

Ronaldinho, who twice was named FIFA's Player of the Year, hurt his right ankle in a game for Barcelona and was listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

"We're following it day by day. Yesterday I was supposed to play only 20 minutes and I did," he said in a televised interview Friday.

Ronaldinho star said he felt better and was hopeful he can be ready for Sunday's game.

"Today it's not so swollen," he said. "We're in the final phase of treatment. I still don't have full confidence, and in some movements it still hurts, but there's still time until the game. ... I think I'm going to play."

Dunga hasn't said whether he would pick Elano or Diego - who were teammates with star striker Robinho when Santos won the national title in 2002 - as replacement. The two have different styles - Elano strengthens the defense, while Diego makes the team more offensive.

Team physician Jose Luiz Runco said Ronaldinho would play only if he's in condition to practice with the team Saturday in Peru.

Brazil tied Colombia 0-0 and routed Ecuador 5-0 in its two previous qualifiers. The five-time World Cup champions trail leader Argentina by two points in the 10-nation South American qualifying tournament.

Brazil next faces Uruguay on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova