Sports News

River midfielder returns four months after fatal crash

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Diminutive River Plate midfielder Diego “Dwarf” Buonanotte returns to soccer on Saturday less than four months after being involved in a car crash in which three friends were killed.

New River coach Angel Cappa suggested the 21-year-old, a member of Argentina’s 2008 Olympic gold medal squad in Beijing, should start on the bench against Clausura championship leaders Godoy Cruz at the Monumental.

“I feel happy to play again and keep my head busy,” Buonanotte told a news conference on Thursday. “Cappa asked me if I felt up to it. I’m keen so we agreed I should go to the bench.”

Buonanotte was driving when his car overturned and crashed into a tree during a storm in his home province of Santa Fe on December 26. He suffered injuries to a shoulder and lungs. His three passengers, all boyhood friends, were killed.

He has been missed on the pitch during one of River’s worst ever runs. They are near the bottom of the Clausura table with 14 points from 14 matches, having lost their last five without scoring.

(Editing by Ian Ransom;

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