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Kaka likely to play Brazil's qualifier vs. Peru

KAKA has recovered from a left foot injury and will be available to play in Brazil's upcoming World Cup qualifier against Peru.

Brazil coach Dunga did not confirm Kaka as a starter in tomorrow's match, but said the AC Milan player is fit and ready to play.

"He is in condition to play," Dunga said. "We just don't know how long he will be able to stay on the field."

Kaka missed Brazil's lackluster 1-1 draw against Ecuador in Quito on Sunday, staying in Brazil to recover his fitness and treat the foot injury sustained with AC Milan earlier this month.

He practiced normally with Brazil's reserves on Monday in a match against the youth squad of Brazilian club Gremio.

"I didn't feel any pain," Kaka said, adding that he may even be ready to play the entire 90 minutes on Wednesday.

Kaka will be available but Dunga won't have Inter Milan right back Maicon, who injured his right thigh in the first half against Ecuador.

Brazil was outplayed by the Ecuadoreans but escaped with a draw. Substitute midfielder Julio Baptista put the five-time world champions ahead in the 72nd minute and Ecuador equalized with Cristian Noboa's close range shot in the 89th.

Brazil was pressured from the start and goalkeeper Julio Cesar had to work hard to keep the Ecuadoreans from scoring.

"With sensational saves, (Julio Cesar) secured the 1-1 draw against Ecuador," the O Globo newspaper said Monday.

Local media was critical of Brazil's performance in general, however.

"Robinho, Luis Fabiano and Co. had to admit that, at least yesterday, the rival was superior," the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper said.

The Lance sports daily said Brazil "struggled" and "played like a small team."

The result dropped Brazil from second to fourth in the 10-team South American qualifying group. Brazil has 18 points, five behind leader Paraguay and one behind both Argentina and Chile.

The top four finishers will automatically qualify for next year's World Cup in South Africa. The fifth-place nation will face a one-match playoff against the fourth-place finisher in the CONCACAF qualifying group.


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