The Portuguese FA revealed fresh injury concerns for its star and captain Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday.
It was already known that the reigning FIFA player of the year is dealing with a thigh problem heading into Brazil. But now, the country’s football association said that Ronaldo is also being hampered by tendinitis in his left leg.
Teammates Raul Meireles, Pepe and Beto are also dealing with injury issues. The four players were doing rehabilitation work in New Jersey at the New York Jets' training facility.
"We hope that Cristiano is in good enough shape to play — and to help the team," Portuguese teammate Nani told reporters.
Nani added that Ronaldo "is going well, and he is relaxed about it … Things are going the right way."
Ronaldo almost single-handedly dragged Portugal into the World Cup in a stunning four-goal performance in the side’s two-leg playoff against Sweden.
He capped off his best season to date by setting a new record with 17 Champions League goals this season, as he and Real Madrid took the crown.
What this means
The thigh issue was already known, which was problem enough. But this new injury concern has to have fans worried. If the qualifiers are any indication, Portugal will only go as far as Ronaldo can take them, and if he isn’t fully fit, the side might not be able to survive a very difficult group draw, one that includes German, the U.S., and Ghana.
But his gratuitous appearances on magazine covers? Those are still safe.