Cristiano Ronaldo leaves training with ice on ailing knee

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s tendinosis is not going to go away over the next four weeks. If the nature of the ailment alone didn’t convince you, consider what happened today in training. The Real Madrid star, who has been hampered by the problem throughout his preparation for the 2014 World Cup, was forced to leave the Seleccao’s session early, his left knee wrapped in ice as he departed.

Portugal opens their World Cup Monday against Group G favorites Germany before facing the United States the following Sunday. The team’s final group stage match is against Ghana on June 26.

With a health Ronaldo, Portugal is favored to get out of the group. Without him, there isn’t much that separates them from the United States or Ghana. In this in between state — where nobody knows if, how much, or at what level Ronaldo will play — it’s almost impossible to assess whether Paulo Bento’s team will be able to survive the World Cup’s deepest group.

From the Associated Press:

Ronaldo trained with the rest of the team for about 15-20 minutes doing physical exercises but then did not take part in the rest of the session with full ball drills.

Instead, he stretched on his own and signed a few shirts for fans before going to sit on the bench. When he left, he had an ice pack over his left knee.

[ MORE: Soccerly cover the World Cup ]

For hardcore U.S. and Ghana fans, this is obviously good if unfortunate news. For the rest of the world, not so much. The potential for one of the game’s biggest stars to struggle through the World Cup takes a little away from the sport’s marquee event.