According to Spanish radio network Cope, Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal faces a two-week recovery period from the injury he picked up during the Champions League final on Saturday.
Cope reports that Carvajal has a ligament strain in his right thigh but not a serious hamstring issue as was initially feared and should be fit to play for Spain at the World Cup in Russia, which kicks off in under three weeks’ time. If Carvajal is ruled out it will be a huge blow for the 26-year-old, who missed the 2016 European Championship with a similar injury sustained during the 2015-16 Champons League final against Atlético in Milan.
Carvajal facing fitness race for World Cup
That leaves Julen Lopetegui with a decision to make regarding his squad for the tournament in Russia. Spain start their campaign against Portugal on June 15, the key game in Group B where the Iberian neighbours are favourites to progress ahead of Morocco and Iran.
If Carvajal’s recovery period is confirmed by Real Madrid and Spain’s medical staffs, Lopetegui will surely keep his first choice right back in the 23-player squad but if it turns out that the Real Madrid defender might not be fit for the opening game the Spain coach may have to take the decision to call up a replacement, with Álvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad) or Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) the two most likely options.
On Monday, the Spanish Football Federation confirmed that Carvajal will join up with the rest of Lopetegui's squad at the national team training base in Las Rozas outside Madrid, where he will undergo a recovery programme under the guidance of Spain's medical staff.
Lopetegui has until June 4 to submit his final squad to Fifa ahead of the World Cup.