Belgium seek quick recovery of injured defenders
SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) - Belgium are hoping for a quick recovery over the weekend from first choice defenders Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen as they remain doubtful for their World Cup match against the United States on Tuesday.
Anthony Vanden Borre was ruled out of the tournament on Friday after a scan revealed a crack in his fibula (calf bone) and back-up defender Laurent Ciman and midfielder Mousa Dembele also missed training on Saturday as the team prepared for their last 16 match in Salvador.
Vanden Borre will be out for at least six weeks, said coach Marc Wilmots in a tweet.
His fellow right back Ciman has an adductor strain while Dembele did not train as a preventative measure after complaining of tightness in his muscles.
Captain Kompany missed Thursday’s last group match against South Korea, where Wilmots made wholesale changes after the Belgians had already secured qualification, and also sat out training at their team base in Mogi das Cruzes on Friday.
Kompany continues to be troubled by a groin problem which Wilmots said he hoped would improve with rest over the weekend.
Vermaelen has a hamstring strain and did not train on Saturday.
“I’m happy we have had an extra day’s rest because we won our group,” said Wilmots, whose team would have played on Monday rather than Tuesday had they finished runners-up in Group H.
“We still have four days. I hope most of them will be fit then.”
But he said he had already figured a solution if that proved not the case. “(Nacer) Chadli can play at right back and Dembele on the left of defence. I don’t see a problem. But I hope that as many as possible are available,” he told reporters.
(Editing by Nigel Hunt and Justin Palmer)