Santa Cruz doubtful for Paraguay qualifiers

ASUNCION - Striker Roque Santa Cruz is doubtful for Paraguay's World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Argentina next month because of a knee injury, coach Gerardo Martino said on Wednesday.

The new Manchester City signing, who has missed Paraguay's previous four qualifiers this year, was left out of the squad Martino named for next Wednesday's friendly against South Korea in Seoul.

"We don't want to rush things. We want to be sure he can make a recovery that will be good for his career," Martino, whose team host Bolivia on September 5 and Argentina four days later, told a news conference.

The tall 27-year-old former Olimpia, Bayern Munich and Blackburn Rovers striker has been struggling to make a full recovery from knee surgery in April.