Fri, 22 Oct 2021

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa could be available for the second leg of Atletico Mineiro's Copa Libertadores semifinal against Palmeiras despite a hamstring injury, the Brazilian club said on Thursday.

Costa limped off in the second half of Tuesday's goalless first leg in Sao Paulo, prompting fears the 32-year-old would be unavailable for the return match in Belo Horizonte.

However, Atletico said the Spain international is receiving "intensive treatment" in a bid to be fit for next Tuesday's clash at the Mineirao stadium.

"The medical department is working to have him ready for the game," Atletico said in a social media post. "[He] will be monitored and re-evaluated daily."

Costa joined Atletico Mineiro on an 18-month contract in August, having not played competitively since parting ways with Atletico Madrid last December.

The Brazilian-born forward scored on his debut for the club - a 1-1 draw at Bragantino in Brazil's Serie A championship on August 29.

Atletico are aiming to win the Copa Libertadores for a second time while their Brazilian rivals Palmeiras are bidding for their second title in as many years and the third in their history.

On Wednesday, Brazil's Flamengo prevailed 2-0 in the first leg of the other semifinal against Ecuador's Barcelona SC at the Maracana stadium. The return match will be played in the Ecuadorian coastal city of Guayaquil next Wednesday.

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