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Portugal pair cause concern

Published: Saturday 26 June 2004, 15.20CET
Portugal have worries over the fitness of striker Nuno Gomes and defender Jorge Andrade, both of whom suffered ankle injuries against England.
by Jorge Vicente
from Alcochete
 
Published: Saturday 26 June 2004, 15.20CET

Portugal pair cause concern

Portugal have worries over the fitness of striker Nuno Gomes and defender Jorge Andrade, both of whom suffered ankle injuries against England.

Portugal have worries over the fitness of striker Nuno Gomes and defender Jorge Andrade, both of whom suffered ankle injuries in the quarter-final win against England on Thursday.

Missed training
Henrique Jones, the Portugal team doctor, revealed at a press briefing today that the pair have twisted ankles. He said: "Nuno Gomes and Jorge Andrade both twisted their right ankle in the match. Both are working to recover in time for the semi-final, so they will not train this afternoon and tomorrow we will re-evaluate their condition."

Physical condition
Portugal won through to a semi-final against either Sweden or the Netherlands after overcoming England on penalties after a 2-2 draw. The Portuguese looked the stronger team in extra time, attacking the England defence in waves, and physical coach Darlan Schneider said he was delighted with the condition of the players.

Recovery exercises
Schneider spoke of his "satisfaction with the players' response in this tournament, after an exhausting season. The matches against England and Spain were very intense, on a physical and mental level, and we are trying to help the players' recovery with pool exercises and massages."

Two extra days
With Sweden and the Netherlands meeting tonight, Portugal will have two extra days to prepare for Wednesday's semi-final in Porto. Schneider hopes this will work to the hosts' advantage. "In a competition like this, where there are three days between matches, Portugal gain an advantage in having two more days' rest than our next opponent," said the Brazilian.

Other factors
Schneider, who was brought over to work with the Portugal players by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, added: "I believe that fact can be turned into a positive for us, but the physical factor isn't the only thing that decides a game, because there are factors like tactics and individual skills."

Last updated: 26/06/04 15.39CET

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