Bocanegra ready for World Cup after injury scare
U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra says he'll be ready for next week's World Cup training camp after a late-season injury had him fearing for his place in the roster.
The defender has missed Rennes' last two Ligue 1 matches because of stomach pains he could not explain and will skip Saturday's season finale at Boulogne.
"Obviously, I was scared," he told The Associated Press on Friday. "I just got fatigued and had to take a few weeks off."
Bocanegra's problems began when an opponent kicked his left knee in a March 28 match against Le Mans.
"I was overcompensating because I wasn't running properly," he said.
The 30-year-old from Alta Loma, Calif., tried to play through groin and abdominal pain against Lyon the next week.
He became alarmed with the approach of the U.S. team's World Cup opener against England on June 12 in South Africa.
"I came to a point where I thought, OK, I need to think about the World Cup a little bit now," he said. "It's not far away. What's going on here? So I had to shut it down."
Bocanegra got his club's approval to train at his own pace. By skipping Rennes' final Ligue 1 match, he was free Friday to join U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati at FIFA in presenting the five-volume bid book to host the World Cup in the United States for a second time in 2018 or 2022.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter thanked the U.S. delegation for bringing the national team captain.
Bocanegra flies home Saturday. The 30 players selected by coach Bob Bradley for his preliminary roster start workouts Monday in Princeton, N.J.
"The club was good with me in that aspect," Bocanegra said. "Now I can fully focus on the World Cup."