While he welcomes a recent signal of form from Levi Garcia, Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men’s Head coach Angus Eve is not grandstanding about the striker’s return just yet. Instead, he hinted at a wait-and-see approach, as selection will be dependent on Garcia maintaining a clean bill of health.

Eve’s comments followed the 26-year-old’s brace, which assisted his club AEK Athens to a 4-0 away win over Lamia in round one of the Greece Super League playoffs, on Sunday.

Garcia, who missed two of his club's last three games with a slight injury, signalled a return to fitness with the brace after he was introduced as a 78th-minute substitute. His tally now stands on 13 goals in as many matches, as he sits third on the Greek Super League scoring chart, while the win pushed AEK Athens to the summit of the standings.

Though undecided, Eve is optimistic that Garcia will remain healthy and consistent in form, as he is still in the process of finalizing a formidable Soca Warriors squad to tackle Canada in the Copa America qualifying encounter on March 23.

“We’re cautiously optimistic about Levi maintaining his form, and hopefully staying injury-free,” Eve told T&T Newsday.

Plagued by injuries, Garcia has not played for the twin island republic since coming on as a second-half substitute in their 0-3 first-leg defeat to the United Stated in the Concacaf Nations League, late last year.

However, there is no doubt about the pace and flair that Garcia brings to the team, once he is healthy.

“As you know, we haven’t really played with Levi (recently) and we do have a number of players who are playing (consistently). When not injured, Levi has been in tremendous form for his club and we would only hope that he can maintain that level of intensity and match fitness that we can have with our ranks,” Eve shared.

“(But) Everyone has to fight for their place and once they maintain their fitness and their match fitness, which are two different things, they have the opportunity to play for the country,” he added.

Aside from Garcia, Eve pointed out that he has also been keeping tabs on Jong PSV’s Dante Gilbert, who has increased his playing time after returning from injury, along with Judah Garcia, Levi’s younger brother representing AEK Athens B.

“We keep abreast of all the players by communicating with them individually, the coaches and, for the injured ones, our medical department deals with them. We work in synchronization with the clubs,” he declared.

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