Spain trio carrying injuries

Spain have three key players recovering from injury heading into the World Cup.

SPAIN’s World Cup preparations have hit another snag after the national team doctor revealed that influential midfielder Andres Iniesta has a ‘minor muscle injury’.

The Barcelona playmaker brilliantly set up two goals in the opening 15 minutes and was the star performer as Spain dominated the first half of their World Cup warm-up match against Poland in Murcia last night.

Spain eventually won 6-0, but Iniesta was forced off after 39 minutes after feeling discomfort in his thigh.

The midfielder missed much of last season with a thigh injury and coach Vicente del Bosque – who already has key duo Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas facing a fitness fight – was unwilling to take any risks.

“The substitution was a precaution,” Del Bosque said after the match. “The doctors will examine him.”

However, Dr Oscar Celada revealed that Iniesta does have a slight injury. He said: “We substituted him because he had some discomfort in the back part of the thigh.”

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“He didn’t notice any tear and it has not got any worse. It was at the start of the match and as he wasn’t comfortable, we made the change – it’s a minor muscle injury.

“We will calmly carry out tests on Wednesday, but we can initially rule out any muscle tear. It’s a minor injury, but we have to take precautions,” added the team doctor.

Iniesta was one of three Spain players who ended the season injured. The Barca midfielder made his comeback for Pep Guardiola’s side right at the end of the team’s successful league campaign and looked to be suffering no ill effects from his thigh problem in Spain’s friendlies against Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

The other two recovering players, Fabregas and Torres, both featured as substitutes on Tuesday and scored against Poland.

For Torres, it was the first appearance since a knee operation in April and the player was happy to return.

“It was almost two months without playing since the Benfica game (his last match before the operation) and I was really keen to come back,” he said after the match.

“They have let me play for a while today and it was great to go out there and score.”

With Torres and Fabregas both looking good, reigning European champions Spain will also now hope Iniesta is fit in time for their Group H opener against Switzerland on June 16.

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