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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Soccer: Player shot in head experiencing swelling around brain

AP Sports Writer

MEXICO CITY Doctors treating Paraguay soccer star Salvador Cabanas say he is showing symptoms of swelling around the brain as he tries to recover from being shot in the head.

Dr. Enrique Martinez said Wednesday that Cabanas remained in critical but stable condition two days after the shooting in a Mexico City bar. He said Cabanas, who plays in Mexico for Club America, would remain under sedation despite an attempt late Tuesday to lower the dosage.

Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Angel Mancera identified a main suspect Tuesday Jose J. Balderas Garza from surveillance videos. Police have not reported detaining him.

Martinez said Cabanas responded favorably to the voices of his mother and wife when the sedation level was lowered on Tuesday.

"He has not moved out of the critical stage and we're not going to lower the sedation now that we are seeing an increase in pressure around the brain area," Martinez said.

The 29-year-old Cabanas was shot at point-blank range on Monday just before dawn in the bathroom of a bar in a well-off Mexico City neighborhood.

Police said the shooting may have been linked to a dispute that Cabanas' brother-in-law might have been having with a Cuban woman and the suspect, Balderas Garza. Cabanas was at the bar with his wife and brother-in-law

Hours after the shooting, surgeons attempted to remove a bullet lodged in Cabanas' skull but decided the operation was too risky.

Cabanas has played in Mexico since 2003 and has scored 125 goals in 218 matches. He also has scored 10 for the Paraguay national team and was expected to lead the team when the World Cup opens in June in South Africa.

Earlier this month he attracted the attention of Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, who expressed interest in bringing Cabanas to the English Premier League club. Reports suggested the deal didn't go through because Club America's asking price was too high.