KRASNODAR: Spanish footballer Rodrigo Moreno on Monday played down concerns about the fitness of Gerard Piqué, who was forced to exit team training earlier with apparent pain in his left knee just four days before the squad's Group B opener against next-door neighbours Portugal.
Centre-back Piqué took a knock to the knee at the team's World Cup headquarters in Krasnodar in a 50-50 challenge with striker Diego Costa, after which he decided to leave the pitch to talk with the medical team, reports Efe.
"Piqué is fine," Rodrigo, a versatile winger/striker who plays his league soccer with Valencia in Spain, told reporters.
"At the moment it seems like there isn't a problem at all," he said.
Later, Spanish online newspaper 'Marca' also reported that Pique's injury was not serious and would not affect his presence against Portugal, where he is expected to partner with Sergio Ramos in the heart of the defence.
Meanwhile, the Spanish lack the services of Real Madrid's right back Dani Carvajal, who damaged his hamstring in the Champions League final 16 days ago.
Carvajal, who missed the 2016 European Championships due to injury, won't be fit for the World Cup opener and is still in doubt for their second group match against Iran in Kazan on July 20.
That doubt has seen manager Julen Lopetegui bring defender Jesus Vallejo and central midfielder Rodrigo Fernandez to Russia to provide cover, and he will be able to make changes to his 23-man squad until 24 hours before the game against Portugal kicks off at 8 p.m. local time on Friday.