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Lopez at 100% again

Boca Juniors centre-back Lisandro Lopez says he is 100% fit again and that he misses playing due to Argentina’s 2020 Copa de la Superliga’s and the Copa Libertadores’ suspensions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 30-year-old last featured during Boca Juniors’ 4-0 win away to Central Cordoba de Santiago on 17 February 2020, exiting the field midway through the first half with a toe injury.

Initial reports were bad for the four-time Argentina international, suggesting Lopez would be sidelined for eight weeks.

Lopez missed subsequent league victories over Godoy Cruz, Colon and Gimnasia LP, in which Jorge Amor Ameal’s side actually kept clean sheets in each. The latter proved to be enough to win the 2019-20 Argentine Primera Division due to River Plate’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Tucuman. The league was suspended with their rivals still having one game to play, but now four points behind.

Boca Juniors also played their first two group stage matches of the 2020 Copa Libertadores without their experienced centre-back – drawing 1-1 in Caracas at the beginning of March before thrashing Independiente Medellin 3-0 in their penultimate game before all football in South America was suspended shortly after.

Junior Alonso replaced Lisandro Lopez in that away game at the Alfredo Terrera stadium in mid-February and the Paraguayan started all three subsequent league games too.

The 27-year-old had been on loan from French Ligue 1 outfit Lille but has agreed to terminate his stay one-month early amid football’s suspension. There is no planned date for a return to the Primera Division so far but it is incredibly unlikely Boca Juniors will be playing a competitive game before Alonso’s original deal was due to expire anyway.

Junior Alonso would not have expected to start Boca Juniors’ next game even if he remained at the club anyway, as Lisandro Lopez confirmed in a five minute video posted on the club’s official Twitter page that he is back to full fitness and ready to play, saying:

“One of the positive things about this quarantine was that I was able to recover from the injury. Although I needed eight weeks to recover, in my case it took a little longer because I was still in pain and it took 12 weeks. So, I was able to recover well. I miss training, strange play.”

Boca Juniors had been 4-1 winners away to Godoy Cruz in the first game of their 2020 Copa de la Superliga. The second-ever edition of the tournament was due to take place between 13 March-31 May 2020 but last month the Argentine Football Association announced the abandonment of the competition.

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