Brazil football star Hulk has recovered from a thigh injury in time for Zenit St. Petersburg’s crucial Champions League clash at home to Malaga Wednesday, the Russian club said Sunday.
Hulk arrived from Porto with much fanfare as a 40 million euro signing in September, but has scored just three times in 11 games in all competitions since then, including one goal in Zenit’s 2-3 Champions League defeat to AC Milan last month.
He has not played since hurting his thigh in a 2-1 win over FC Rostov Nov 2, missing the dour 0-1 defeat to Anderlecht, but trained with the team Sunday, a statement on the Zenit website said.
Hulk's recovery was interrupted by the brief kidnapping of his sister Angelica in their home city of Campina Grande Nov 5.
Also in line for a return for Malaga’s visit is midfielder Viktor Faizulin, who missed Zenit’s 2-1 win over FC Volga last week with a minor knee problem that also ruled him out of Russia’s 2-2 draw with the United States Wednesday.
Zenit must beat Malaga to be sure of keeping a chance of qualifying for the knockout round. Any other result would allow second-placed AC Milan to qualify with a win over Anderlecht.
Malaga lead Group C and can only fail to qualify if they lose both of their final two games and all four other results go against them.