Olympics-Soccer-Pearce to make Sturridge call after Brazil game

LONDON, July 19 Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:06am EDT

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LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - Britain's soccer coach Stuart Pearce will make a final call on the fitness of Daniel Sturridge after his team's friendly against Brazil on Friday as the Chelsea striker continues to recover from viral meningitis.

The 22-year-old was admitted to hospital at the start of the month and is now in a race against time to be fit for the Olympic soccer tournament that begins next week.

He has started training again and Pearce hopes he will be fit for the opening game against Senegal at Old Trafford next Thursday.

"He looks very good," Pearce told reporters at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium on Thursday. "Obviously, we hope he plays some part of the game on Friday, and we will make a final judgement call at that stage.

"He has done everything we have asked of him okay, but he has been blowing a bit at times."

The medal credentials of Pearce's team are likely to be scrutinised against Olympic favourites Brazil.

"The game against Brazil will tell us quite a bit from a physical point of view," he said.

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Martyn Herman)

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