David Silva, Alvaro Morata injury fears after early Spain withdrawals
Manchester City and Juventus both face anxious waits on the fitness of key players after Spain duo David Silva and Alvaro Morata were both substituted in the first half their European Championship qualifying match against Luxembourg on Friday.
City midfielder Silva and Juve striker Morata both came off before half-time of the match in Logrono after clashes with Luxembourg players in their Group C fixture.
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Initial reports in Spanish media said that Morata was facing four months out with a fractured fibula. Those fears were later allayed although AS reports he has suffered a "traumatic injury" to his right calf muscle. Silva, meanwhile, could have escaped his rough treatment with just a twisted ankle.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said after the match: "The worst pain of game was these two injuries -- both in unfortunate clashes. We have to wait and see what the tests say. Any injuries are always a worry. Both players have injuries, and until we know for sure it is difficult to say [how serious]."
Silva, 29, was brought down by a hefty challenge from Luxembourg defender Lars Gerson. After receiving treatment on his ankle the former Valencia playmaker tried to play on, but signalled to the Spain bench soon afterward and was replaced by Manchester United's Juan Mata in the ninth minute.
The incident only adds to the injury concerns of City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who saw striker Sergio Aguero injure his hamstring while playing for Argentina against Ecuador on Thursday.
Morata, 22, was rewarded for his recent scoring form for Juventus with a rare international start at the Estadio Las Guanas. However, he collided with the two Luxembourg centre-backs as he leapt for a cross and landed awkwardly. Evidently in pain, the former Real Madrid forward was taken off the pitch on a stretcher, to be replaced by Valencia youngster Paco Alcacer.
It was the first time that Spain have ever made two substitutions as early as the 32nd minute.
Spain, who needed a win over Luxembourg to secure an automatic qualification place for next year's finals in France, travel to Ukraine for their final group match on Monday.