JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Mexico forward Carlos Vela jogged more briskly in training compared to two days ago, giving the team hope he will recover from a right leg injury in time for the World Cup match against Argentina.
Vela picked up the injury in the Group A match against France, and didn't start in the team's 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Tuesday. He seemed to have improved considerably in Wednesday's training compared to the one Monday, when he alternated between jogging and walking while separated from the rest of the squad.
This time, Vela jogged with other Mexico players. Of the 11 Mexico starters in the match against Uruguay, only Andres Guardado did not train.
Coach Javier Aguirre was more optimistic about Vela's availability and doctors told him if Vela continues to progress, he should be available Sunday.
Mexico qualified for the round of 16 despite the loss to Uruguay and will face Argentina on Sunday.
Mexico brought in veteran striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco in place of Vela against Uruguay, but the 37-year-old forward was ineffective in attack and was substituted in the 63rd minute. So coach Javier Aguirre will be hoping Vela can start against Argentina.
Mexico defender Hector Moreno called on the team to recover its attacking edge for the match after the forward line was blunted by Uruguay's defense and had three clear attempts on goal.
"A defeat always hurts your pride, but it will force us to return to the basics," Moreno said.
Moreno, in his first World Cup, is not intimidated by the prospect of facing Argentina forward Lionel Messi, the 2009 world player of the year.
"It's well known that they have great players, but like in any other match we have to concentrate on all their players, from their forwards to their goalkeeper," Moreno said.
Argentina knocked out Mexico in the quarterfinals of the 2006 World Cup, but Moreno doesn't see the match as a chance for revenge.
"More than vengeance, I see it as a good opportunity to make history, which is what we want," he said.