Algeria's Madjid Bougherra insists he is on track to fully recover from a calf injury which has plagued his preparations for this summer's FIFA World Cup™. The Rangers defender has mainly trained under supervision during his country's training camp at Crans Montana in Switzerland, but has upped his involvement with the rest of his team-mates this week.
Bougherra, who is expected to be one of the key figures for the Desert Foxes in South Africa, has been hampered by injury problems throughout the season. His latest setback - a torn calf - meant he had to miss his club's final four league games of the season, and he has also confirmed he will not take part in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland on Friday.
"Physically I feel fit, but as for my injury, we don't want to take any risks and rather let it heal quietly," he told www.competition.dz. "Because of this I'm going to skip the game in Ireland. The most important thing for now is to be fully fit and ready for the World Cup."
The injury is similar to the one suffered by France defender William Gallas, who has been out since March, but Bougherra played down fears that he will be out for as long. He added: "It is true that Gallas is slow to recover. With this kind of injury it must be well cared for and there must be no rush to return, otherwise you may regret it later. But just to reassure everyone, my calf is fine, I'll be 100% back to normal soon."
There has been plenty of speculation in recent weeks over Bougherra's future, which comes after another impressive season with the Scottish champions and his performances at the African Nations Cup, where Algeria finished fourth. But the 27-year-old insists that his focus is solely with his country.
"Honestly, I do not care (about a transfer)," he said. "Now the only thing that worries me is my rehabilitation and preparation for the World Cup. Why? Because I am motivated 2,000%. That (my transfer) will be a matter of destiny. If I have to stay at Rangers, it will not be a bad deal since the club will play in the Champions League."