Cavani injury gives Uruguay cause for concern, despite win over Portugal

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Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez expressed his concern over Edinson Cavani’s condition after the forward set up a World Cup quarter-final date with France.

Cavani’s double accounted for Portugal as Uruguay won their last-16 clash in Sochi 2-1 on Saturday night.

But the Paris St Germain striker was forced off in the final quarter with a leg injury and could now miss Friday’s quarter-final against France, who reached the last eight earlier in the day by beating Argentina 4-3.

“He was injured and he felt pain,” Tabraez said in his post-match press conference.

“I don’t know right now exactly because I have not spoken to the medical team.

“But in five days we have a match and we don’t have a lot of time for recovery here.

“We will have an analysis and a diagnosis in time, but right now we are only worried of course.

“We don’t know for sure how grave this injury really is.”

Uruguay had to withstand fierce late Portugal pressure as the European champions chased an equaliser.

Pepe had earlier breached the Uruguay defence for the first time in the tournament, levelling it at 1-1 10 minutes into the second half, before Cavani magnificently swept home his 45th international goal in 105 appearances.

“The distinctive feature was the dedication that all the players showed and displayed on the pitch,” Tabarez said.

“That is part of the way we see football.

“It was difficult because the opposition had more ball possession and were very often in our half of the pitch.

“But we have a very strong team in terms of the mindset and we will always bank on the collective against any rival.”

Portugal’s World Cup exit has put question marks against the future of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid star will be 37 by the time of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but Portugal manager Fernando Santos believes Ronaldo will remain committed to the national team.

“Cristiano still has a lot to give to football,” Santos said.

“There is a UEFA tournament (Nations League) in September and we hope Cristiano will be with us to help the younger ones to grow.

Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani was helped off the pitch by Cristiano Ronaldo after suffering an injury (Francisco Seco/AP)
Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani was helped off the pitch by Cristiano Ronaldo after suffering an injury (Francisco Seco/AP)

“It’s important to have a captain present there and he’s always there for us.

“We tried our best, but we’re very sad for the Portuguese people that we weren’t able to make it.”

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