Ronaldo is ready to play, claims Portugal team doctor

Henrique Jones has calmed concerns over the Real Madrid star’s fitness, insisting that he is in better physical condition than when he arrived in Brazil

Portugal national team doctor Henrique Jones was upbeat on the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo and is confident the forward will face Ghana.

Ronaldo has been struggling with a knee problem throughout the World Cup so far but has completed 90 minutes in both his side’s group games to date.

Despite concerns that the 29-year-old Real Madrid forward could aggravate the injury by playing, Jones has dismissed these worries and believes that there is obvious improvement in his condition.

“He is better than when he arrived in the national team set-up,” the Portugal team doctor told Publico.

“In medical terms I do not know if he is 100 per cent, but is clinically he is well and is able to compete. He has a little discomfort because of the tendinitis he suffered, but the rest is fine.”

Paulo Bento’s side have struggled with injuries since arriving at the World Cup, with left-back Fabio Coentrao ruled out of the tournament after the 4-0 defeat to Germany with a thigh problem and Rui Patricio and Hugo Almeida also suffering fitness scares.

According to Jones, these problems were to be expected due to Portuguese players experiencing a high number of fitness issues over the season and the difficulty of recovery in the Brazilian heat.

“Two-thirds of our players have had a very full season of injuries,” Jones explained.

“We had tests that ensured they were fit but we have 12 athletes with muscle injuries during the season and we always had to be on top of the medical departments of the clubs.

“The weather should not scare anyone. The weather conditions are not so severe as to limit the consistency of the players. There is a performance problem, but a problem of the recovery effort, which will be greater.”

Portugal face Ghana in their final group-stage game on Thursday, needing a win to stand a chance of progressing.

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