Friday, December 3, 2010
Kaka Poised for Real Madrid Return After Resuming Pitch Training
Things are suddenly looking bright for the Brazilian midfield after the uninspired play of Elias, Ramires and Lucas against Argentina in Doha. In parallel with Ganso's recovery from a left torn ACL injury, Ricardo Kaka appears to be steadily recuperating from a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery in August. Today, Real Madrid's website reported that Kaka had resumed training on the pitch and begun proprioception work, strength training and stamina training under the guidance of trainer Carlos Lalin. Proprioception work refers to the body's sixth sense for understanding how muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints communicate with one another. In the context of a sports injury, proprioception training gauges an athlete's sense of balance as well as its ability to sense movement and pain. Real reported that Kaka did not feel any discomfort during training and is expected to return to the pitch in January 2011. Whereas a flurry of media reports in October and November suggested that Kaka was entertaining the possibility of transferring from Real Madrid to AC Milan, Sao Paulo or Chelsea, the Brazilian playmaker's future under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid appears set in stone given Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid the season's first El Clasico at the Nou Camp. Real Madrid's midfield quartet of Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso struggled woefully against Barcelona's one touch passing and attacking game. Mesut Ozil faltered when denied space whereas Khedira chased the ball relentlessly but failed to obtain any significant possession that could be supplied to Alonso and subsequently to Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema. Against Barcelona, Real's midfield sorely lacked the creativity, vision and experience of a playmaker and attacking midfielder such as Kaka, who--in form--is probably the only player on the planet who can provide an effective counter-weight to Pep Guardiola's midfield maestro Xavi. Moreover, Higuain's probable absence due to back problems in the upcoming months means that Real could benefit from Kaka's trademark ability to swoop forward from midfield and score goals. Kaka's ability to compensate for the failure of Real Madrid's midfield should be painfully apparent to a master tactician such as Mourinho, so fans of the sex symbol from Sao Paulo should look forward to seeing the 2007 Balloon d'or and FIFA World Player of the Year in the number 8 shirt behind Cristiano Ronaldo as early as February.