A quick visit home ahead of training camp with his national team almost derailed Kolo Touré's World Cup hopes when the player contracted malaria while visiting to Abidjan, Ivory Coast. His illness wasn't discovered until he met up with the team at their training camp in the United States, but despite the delayed diagnosis he isn't expected to miss any of the group stage.
"He just needs rest and so he won't play against Bosnia this weekend," said Cyrille Dah, the team doctor for the Ivory Coast, "but he will be okay to return to training next week."
The Ivory Coast kicks off its tournament against Japan, followed by Colombia and Greece. While it's not exactly a group of death, the country has failed to advance out of the group stage on its two previous tries and will be hoping that third time's a charm for the Elephants.
At thirty-three, this year's World Cup is likely to be Touré's last and it would have been a shame to miss a final opportunity to represent his country on the world's biggest stage. Thankfully, his brief touch of malaria will not be a major setback. Get well soon, Kolo!