By TIM FONTENAULT
Portugal’s already crippled World Cup campaign could be on the verge of coming undone altogether.
After a 4-0 loss to Germany that included a red card and three injuries, Cristiano Ronaldo left practice early on Wednesday in order to ice his left knee, according to a Goal.com report. It isn’t the first time that Portugal’s captain and the reigning Ballon d’Or winner has been forced out of a recent practice due to knee issues, but the latest episode shows that the Real Madrid star still isn’t 100 percent.
Ronaldo has been battling tendonitis in his left knee as well as a thigh issue. The injury may be more serious than previously thought. According to one unconfirmed report out of Spain, doctors told the 29-year-old he could be risking his career by continuing to play in the World Cup.
Portugal was pummeled by Germany in its opening match, and Ronaldo had little impact on the game. As if the loss was not bad enough, Hugo Almeida is questionable for Sunday’s game against the United States while Fabio Coentrão has already been ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup. Meanwhile, Pepe will be serving a one-match ban after headbutting Germany’s Thomas Muller in the first half on Monday. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio is also questionable for the USA match with an injury.
None of those injuries would be as devastating as losing Ronaldo for a Portuguese side that needs a win against the U.S. on Sunday to keep hopes alive of advancing out of Group G. If Germany defeats Ghana on Saturday and the United States beats Portugal on Sunday, Portugal and Ghana will both be eliminated from the World Cup.
What do you think of these developments? See Ronaldo playing on Sunday? Think he can shake off the knee issues and deliver one of his trademark performances?
Share your thoughts below.