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Cristiano Ronaldo leaves training with ice on ailing knee

Jun 12, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT

FBL-EUR-C1-REALMADRID-TRAINING Getty Images

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.

  1. jdfsquared - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    What was that Klinsmann was saying about the superior fitness of players just off a full European season and Champions League Final vs. midseason MLS players? Can’t quite remember…

  2. herogoesallin - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:07 AM

    you will see what he means when the us boys play vs germany and portugal.

    • grm35741 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:17 AM

      Fitness will not be the difference. The US is FIT. Maybe fit enough to close down the skill difference and get out of the group. Look at the opener. On paper Brazil is superior to Croatia but the Brazil we saw last night cannot win the tour unless it keeps cheating.

  3. mightymightylafootball - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    The US has to win the “fitness” battle. When you’re the lesser squad (against Port and Germ), there’s absolutley no excuse for getting out hussled, least of all on the worlds biggest stage.

    If I see half-hearted runs and hands on hips from the US team, I’m gonna be one PO’d fan…

  4. nyjetblue - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Um, I think you meant to say “marquee event”.

  5. herogoesallin - Jun 14, 2014 at 3:08 AM

    klinsmann is the most overated coach at the world cup. he couldnt even get a trophy as a coach with germany or bayern munich. that guy was good as a player, but is a joke as a coach. why do you think he trains the US team…

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