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Ecuador defender Hurtado recovering well

© Reuters 2002

QUITO, March 7 (Reuters) - Ecuador's key defender Ivan Hurtado has said that he is making a good recovery from an ankle sprain he suffered last Sunday on his debut for Guayaquil club Barcelona.

Hurtado, who has 87 caps and has been the lynchpin of Ecuador's defence for nearly a decade, said he was still unable to train normally but was determined to make a speedy return.

"We are exposed to these situations and now it's happened to me, but the most important thing is to stay calm, work intelligently and, when I return, give my all, which is what I have always done," he said on Thursday.

Hurtado, who often captains his country when Alex Aguinaga is absent, joined Barcelona, Ecuador's most popular club, on a ten-month loan from Mexico's UNL.

The injury happened during Sunday's match against Deportivo Quito in the local championship. Previously, he had been playing on loan for La Piedad, another Mexican club.

The Andean nation are eagerly awaiting their first World Cup appearance.

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