Cristiano Ronaldo Leaves Portugal Practice Limping: World Cup 2014, Group G

After returning to the field against Ireland, Cristiano Ronaldo looked fit and ready for the grueling World Cup schedule, but on Thursday he was seen leaving Portugal’s practice early with an ice pack around his knee, limping.

With all eyes on the Real Madrid striker, fans and rivals are left wondering what is his true condition ahead of Portugal’s debut on Monday against powerful Germany. For the US, a Cristiano-less Portugal could mean the difference between going home and qualifying for the next round.

As the weakest link in an otherwise formidable group, the Americans don’t really have much of a chance to advance. but without Ronaldo all that could change. Germany and Ghana round up Group G, both of whom are very strong in their own right.

Cristiano Ronaldo limped out of the team practice 20-minutes into the session, his knee wrapped with a big ice pack and his hands covering his face, presumably to hide the discomfort he was feeling. The superstar has been suffering from tendinitis to the left knee for some time.

Tendinitis is not the type of injury that heals quickly. This is how the Mayo Clinic defines it:

“Patellar tendinitis is an injury that affects the tendon connecting your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone. The patellar tendon plays a pivotal role in the way you use your leg muscles.”

The worrisome development for the Europeans, who are hoping to win the World Cup for the first time in their history, would greatly hinder their chances to advance to the round of 16. Portugal without Ronaldo failed to impress in the friendlies prior to the tournament.

Ronaldo stretched his injured knee separately from his teammates, after joining them for group practice. Later on he took some time to sign autographs for fans that had come to witness one of the best players in the world doing his warm up drills.

Cristiano downplayed his condition by tweeting this pointed comment and sharing a video of Portugal’s practice. In the clip he, along with his teammates are seen interacting with fans while at training camp:

Ronaldo’s teammate, midfielder João Moutinho, made comments about the superstar’s condition and tried to put concerned fans’ minds at ease:

“Ever since he started to train with us he has been 100% like the rest of us. Everything is fine with him but there is some caution, not only with him. Today many other players were using ice as well. There is nothing to worry about. The ice is normal after training.”

Cristiano Ronaldo traveled to the World Cup with an existing injury that sidelined him for several matches in the closing weeks of La Liga season. He is a feared and respected opponent to rivals, who are left wondering if Portugal’s most important player will take the field on June 16.

[Image via Twitter]

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