River captain Ponzio to return for Libertadores decider

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Buenos Aires, Nov 16 (IANS) River Plate captain Leonardo Ponzio will be fit to play in next week’s second leg of the Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors after recovering from a leg injury, coach Marcelo Gallardo said.

Ponzio missed last Saturday’s first leg at Boca’s La Bombonera stadium — which ended in a 2-2 draw — because of a thigh strain but has responded positively to treatment, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It is always important to have one of your symbols and our captain,” the coach told reporters on Thursday.

“Ponzio has worked hard these past weeks to get ready. He won’t have any problem in playing a week on Saturday.”

Gallardo was barred from attending Saturday’s match and will serve a further three-game touchline ban for disobeying a suspension in the semifinal against Gremio.



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