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Salvador Cabanas, right, was Paraguay's top scorer in the World Cup qualifiers with six goals, and scored crucial goals in big wins over Brazil and Chile. He's making progress after being shot in the head. ((PABLO BURGOS/AFP/Getty Images))

Paraguay footballer Salvador Cabanas has been able to take food by mouth and is talking with family members, a remarkable recovery after being shot in the head a week ago in a Mexico City bar.

Doctors treating Cabanas said Sunday they have been surprised by his progress since being shot at point-blank range just before dawn on Monday.

Dr. Ernesto Martinez said 80 per cent of patients with such head wounds do not survive.

Cabanas, 29, is the top striker on Mexico City club America and had been expected to lead Paraguay when the World Cup opens on June 11 in South Africa.