Monaco striker Radamel Falcao has been left off Colombia's squad for the World Cup after failing to recover from a knee injury.

Coach Jose Pekerman made the announcement at a news conference Monday from the team's training facility in Buenos Aires, Argentina, dealing a serious blow to the team's chances at the tournament.

Falcao's presence had been in doubt ever since he underwent knee surgery in January. But Colombians had been hoping for a miracle recovery in time for the World Cup as Falcao posted photos of himself on social media taking nine-kilometer (six-mile) runs.

Falcao said that as he lacks match fitness, "the smartest thing to do" is to stay on the sidelines. He said he still plans to travel to Brazil to cheer on his teammates.