Bayern Munich's marquee summer signing James Rodriguez has received permission from the club to travel to his native Colombia during the international break and join up with the national team ahead of two crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
James sustained an injury in his right thigh in a pre-season friendly against Liverpool on 1 August and has been out of action ever since, missing Bayern's Supercup triumph over Borussia Dortmund, their DFB Cup first round win against Chemnitzer FC and the first two games of the Bundesliga season.
Nevertheless, Colombia head coach Jose Pekermann called up the 26-year-old to the squad for the side's upcoming qualifiers against Venezuela (31 August) and Brazil (5 September). A statement on the official Bayern website read: "James was selected by the Colombian FA […] and will therefore travel to South America, in accordance with FIFA regulations."
Watch: James made a good impression at Bayern during pre-season
There is a caveat, however, as the attacking midfielder will play no part in the first fixture against Venezuela, having agreed to sit out the game on the advice of Bayern team doctor Dr. Volker Braun following a medical examination. James' participation in the match against Brazil will be decided following consultation between Braun and the Colombia national team doctor.
Colombia are currently second in South American qualifying on 24 points, nine behind leaders Brazil. There are only four rounds of matches left to play, with Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador all within four points of Los Cafeteros, eager to secure one of the continent's four automatic places at Russia 2018.