It’s not too often that Cristiano Ronaldo sits out more than one training session, but that’s precisely what’s happened whilst he’s been away with Portugal as they ready themselves for the Nations League tie against Croatia.
All seemed well up until Wednesday, but since then the 35-year-old has been said to be in serious, agonising pain.
“I am very doubtful that he will be 100 per cent OK,” Portugal team boss, Fernando Santos said at his pre-match press conference, cited by the Daily Star.
“He had been training well, then suddenly on Wednesday one of his toes was red, as if he’d been stung by a bee.
“Now we have to wait. With an infection, you don’t know how long the recovery is going to take.”
Ronaldo sits just one goal off of a century of strikes for his country, and the delay in being able to get to the new mark will surely irk a player who is ultra-competitive and driven.
His absence, however, does allow Santos to be able to experiment with certain formations and players, something that he arguably wouldn’t be able to do if his talisman was on the pitch.
With any luck, the infection won’t sideline him for too long because he remains an integral component of the Portuguese squad.