World Football - Cabanas to make comeback
Former Paraguay striker Salvador Cabanas is set to make his professional comeback on Monday, just under two years to the day after he was almost killed when he was shot in the head in a Mexico City bar.
The 31-year-old, who still has the bullet lodged in his head, will play for Paraguayan third division 12 de Octubre, the club where he began his career in 1997 in Itagua, 30km from Asuncion.
"We're waiting for this moment with a lot of expectations and emotion," said club president Luis Salinas at Cabanas's official presentation as a squad member.
"He always wanted to return to the club where he was 'born' (as a player) and where he feels at home. On Monday he will put on the (team's blue and white) gear and start training."
Cabanas, who missed the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where he was expected to shine for Paraguay, was shot in the head in the bathroom of a Mexico City bar during an argument with an alleged drugs dealer, who was arrested last year.
After weeks in a Mexico City hospital where doctors decided against removing the bullet, Cabanas continued his recovery in a clinic in Buenos Aires before returning home to Paraguay.
"Salvador is well. He's lacking a few things like rhythm, speed, but he'll still continue with his treatment at the same time as he practices with his club," his father Dionisio said.
"This is something very emotional for the family because we've suffered a lot," he said.
Part of Cabanas's recovery has included practising as a guest with leading Paraguayan first division side Libertad since February 2010 and in August he took part in a friendly between Paraguay and his former club America, playing a few minutes for each.
Cabanas first moved abroad when he joined Chilean first division side Audax Italiano from 12 de Octubre. From there he moved to Chiapas in Mexico in 2003 and was transferred to the Azteca-based America in the Mexican capital in 2006.