Take that, Ghanan witch doctor!
With the public largely in the dark on the extent of Cristiano Ronaldo’s injuries ahead of the World Cup, we now have a small update.
The Portuguese FA has confirmed that Ronaldo, in addition Raul Meireles, has returned to normal training with the team, although it’s unclear to what extent they are partaking.
While a bit vague, it’s great news for Portugal nonetheless, who have looked utterly lost in two friendlies without their star forward.
Reports have been varied and somewhat unclear, but the most serious ones indicated Ronaldo was struggling with a dual injury – one to his left thigh that could involve a torn muscle, and another to his left knee which was reportedly caused by swelling and/or tendinitis.
Before Portugal’s match with Mexico last night, which they won 1-0 on a winner in stoppage time, manager Paulo Bento was mum on Ronaldo’s injury, saying, “I’m unable to change the prognosis. I’m unable to change what we expect. When he’s ready to play is a decision that’s going to be made the same way it’s always been made.”
Others mentioned in the release include defender Pepe, a teammate of Ronaldo’s at Real Madrid, who is doing side work during training as he looks to return from a calf injury that kept him out of the Champions League final. Goalkeeper Beto is still unable to participate in training at all and is doing rehab work at the hotel.
Teams have up to 24 hours before their first World Cup match to replace injured players on the roster. Portugal opens against Germany on June 16th, with the United States starting against Ghana on the same day. Portugal plays the US in Manaus on June 22.