Deco set for 2013 debut

2013-02-16 01:17:59 GMT2013-02-16 09:17:59(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Former Portugal international midfielder Deco is poised to make his first appearance for 2013 in Fluminense's Campeonato Carioca clash against Volta Redonda on Sunday.

Fluminense coach Abel Braga said Friday that the 35-year-old needs to play to have any chance of featuring in the Rio club's all-Brazilian Copa Libertadores duel against Gremio next Wednesday.

"The time has arrived and he is ready to play Sunday," Braga said. "Deco is aerobically very strong so he won't have too much trouble easing back, but he needs match fitness."

The former Porto, Barcelona and Chelsea star returned to training two weeks ago after injuring his right thigh during a pre-season training session.

Fluminense won their opening Copa Libertadores fixture against Caracas 1-0 away from home on Wednesday.

The reigning Brazil Serie A champions are yet to win South America's most coveted club competition.

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