Cristiano Ronaldo limped out of a Portugal training session 30 minutes early Wednesday with ice strapped to his left knee.
The Portuguese captain and holder of the Ballon D'Or, was expected to lead his team at this World Cup but, after playing an ineffective 90 minutes in Portugal's 4-0 loss to Germany on Monday, the soccer superstar was warned by his doctor that he risks threatening his career by playing on at the World Cup, reported the Daily Mail.
The Real Madrid superstar is struggling with a knee injury but is under pressure to lead his team into Sunday’s crucial clash with the USA after the embarrassing loss to Germany.
According to Spanish online newspaper El Confidencial, Portuguese surgeon Jose Carlos Noronha told the 29-year-old:
"Let your knee rest, or your future is in danger," to which Ronaldo reportedly replied: "I’m the one that says whether I’m playing or not."
There had been serious doubts over the Real Madrid superstar's injuries ahead of the tournament, after a thigh problem and tendinitis in his knee forced him to miss training and two warm-up matches.
Ronaldo declared himself "100 per cent" fit on the eve of Portugal's opening defeat to Germany but, although he managed to play the entire game, he was mostly on the periphery and failed to make an impact.
It now appears that the Player of the Year has suffered a recurrence of his knee problems after receiving treatment during a training session in Campinas.
Ronaldo was taken through a series of stretches before having his left knee bandaged with an ice pack and helped off the field a half hour before Wednesday's practice finished. He watched the rest of the session from the sidelines.
Portugal will face the USA on Sunday in a must win game in Group G. Until then, Portugal fans will have to wait for Ronaldo's decision for a single game — and maybe his career.