In yet another injury scare for the Portuguese national team, starting central defender Bruno Alves missed training on Friday with a thigh issue.
Portugal is decimated by injuries and suspensions going into the pivotal Group G game against the United States on Sunday.
Three players who started in the 4-0 loss to Germany are definitely out, and three others are carrying injuries. The full list:
- Pepe will miss the game due to suspension. He got a red card after losing his mind and head-butting Germany’s Thomas Muller in Portugal’s 4-0 loss.
- Fabio Coentrao is out of the World Cup with a groin injury he picked up in the second half against Germany.
- Hugo Almeida will miss the U.S. game after going down with a thigh injury against Germany.
- Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly left training early this week to get treatment on the patellar tendinitis in his knee. While he’s expected to play, news broke that his personal doctor advised him against playing in the World Cup. He won’t be 100%.
- Rui Patricio, the Portuguese goalie, suffered a thigh injury against Germany. He could miss the U.S. game.
- Bruno Alves missed training Friday. There’s no official word on his status.
That’s three of four first-choice defenders (including both central defenders), the goalie, the center forward, and the best player all in question for Sunday’s game.
It’s horrible timing for this team, and a shame for Ronaldo — who probably won’t be the player he is today when he’s 33 years old at the 2018 World Cup.
Portugal needs a win to keep its World Cup hopes alive.
Here’s a photo of the team before the Germany game, with injured players X’d out and questionable players with question marks. That’s more than half the starting 11:
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