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May 30, 2014

Ronaldo hampered by thigh injury

ESPN FC's Santiago Solari on what Portugal and Ronaldo will bring to the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.

Cristiano Ronaldo has joined up with the Portugal squad ahead of the World Cup still troubled by the thigh injury which hampered his end to the club season with Real Madrid.

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Ronaldo completed 90 minutes in just two of Madrid's last 10 games before the campaign-ending Champions League final, in which he was clearly not in top condition but got on the scoresheet by hammering in a penalty late in extra-time to seal his side's 4-1 win.

The national captain, along with Madrid teammates Pepe and Fabio Coentrao, had a few days off to rest after that game.

It has been confirmed that Ronaldo will sit out Saturday's warm-up game against Greece as he continues his rehabilitation. He missed training on Friday with a left thigh problem and instead did rehabilitation work at the team hotel in Obidos, the Portuguese Football Federation announced.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento told a press conference: "He will be with us, but he will not compete.''

Asked when his star man would return, Bento said: "We don't have deadlines. The physical well-being and health of the player is our main concern and we will not set a time limit for the return to competition.

"We must leave Ronaldo and other players to recover in the best possible way and without risks.''

An injury bulletin from the Portuguese FA also said that Raul Meireles, Joao Coutinho, Hugo Almeida and Ruben Amorim have similar minor problems, but all are expected to travel to the U.S. with the squad ahead of warm-up games against Mexico [on June 6 in Boston] and Ireland [on June 10 in New Jersey].

Pepe, who missed the Champions League final with a calf muscle problem, appears to have recovered fully.

Speaking from the camp Benfica midfielder Amorim said in a news conference that he had been happy to see Ronaldo arriving as it meant the squad's other players would now get more peace and quiet.

"The presence of Ronaldo is good because it frees the attention of the press from the other players, and he is already used to it."

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