Iker Casillas is expected to fully recover from a heart attack, but Porto’s doctor says it’s too early to know if the veteran goalkeeper will keep playing professionally.
Casillas remained hospitalized on Thursday, a day after falling ill during a practice and undergoing a catheterization.
Doctor Nelson Puga said the playing future of the 37-year-old goalie will depend on several factors.
“It’s too early to say anything about it. It depends on many things. It will depend on the medication he will need to take. Also, we need to wait for further tests,” Puga told FC Porto’s official TV channel.
Casillas said on Thursday everything was “under control” and despite “a big scare” he was still feeling strong.
Maurizio Sarri believes Chelsea are “in trouble” for their Europa League semi-final due to a centre back injury crisis.
Gary Cahill will miss Thursday’s semi-final first leg with an Achilles injury, leaving David Luiz and Andreas Christensen as Chelsea’s only fit senior centre backs.
Cesar Azpilicueta will cover centre back at the Commerzbank Arena, with Antonio Rudiger also sidelined for three months after knee surgery.
“Gary Cahill has an Achilles tendon injury,” said Sarri.
“We hope to recover him in one week. So we are in trouble with the centre backs. For the last two trainings we played with Azpilicueta at centre back. So we are in trouble.
“We’ve played 58 matches so injuries are typical. We were lucky previously but not in the last 10 days.”
Chelsea skipper Azpilicueta insisted he is ready to step in at centre back if required.
“I’m ready to play wherever the manager needs me to play,” said Azpilicueta.
“But I can adapt to different positions. So I’m ready for it.”
Sarri explained that Germany defender Rudiger will be sidelined for three months after surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee.
Chelsea’s Italian boss revealed Rudiger actually tore his meniscus in the Blues’ 2-0 Premier League loss at Liverpool on April 14.
Rudiger had battled to play through the problem until the end of the season, with the club aware he would need surgery but also knowing he could not exacerbate the injury.
The 26-year-old returned to action for Sunday’s Manchester United trip then, only to pull up again, unable to push through to the campaign’s conclusion.
“Rudiger is out for at least three months I think,” said Sarri.
“He’s upset of course but is very strong and I’m sure he will come back stronger. We tried to arrive at the end of the season, but the injury was there. He had a problem with his meniscus, it was broken.
“We tried to arrive to the end of the season because sometimes you are able to play for one month (with the injury). But the situation was the same.”
The domestic fixtures this weekend acts as a reprieve from the European action ahead of semi-final second legs in the Champions League and Europa League.
And while Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1 have all crowned their 2018/19 champions, there is still everything to play for in the Bundesliga and the Premier League.
Yet, intrigue does lie elsewhere as well and to help you decipher which contests to put on the box this weekend, we’ve put together the games to watch.
MATCH: Juventus v Torino
WHERE: Allianz Stadium
WHEN: Friday @ 10:30PM (GST)
Last weekend saw the two Turin sides take on the twin Milan outfits as Juve drew 1-1 with Inter while Torino secured a massive 2-0 victory over AC. Those results means there are huge ramifications for this local fixture. The Derby della Mole has long been a one-sided affair with Torino unable to win at Juventus since 1995 with just one victory since then arriving a decade later. However, bar Cristiano Ronaldo aiming to top the league goalscoring charts, the Bianconeri have little play for having already been crowned champions. Torino by contrast are well in the hunt for a European spot and so victory is absolutely pivotal.
MATCH: Newcastle v Liverpool
WHERE: St James’ Park
WHEN: Saturday @ 10:45PM
The Premier League title race is resembling a frozen tug of war. Liverpool continue to have the slight advantage of playing before leaders Manchester City, but then Pep Guardiola’s men own the one-point advantage. This week’s fixtures are brimming with narrative. The Reds travel to Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle, the Spanish boss fondly remembered by Liverpool supporters and also one of the club’s nearly-men in regards to ending the title drought. His side came close in 2008/09, but Brendan Rodgers’ iteration was even closer in 2013/14 and he takes his Leicester City outfit to City on Monday. Could this be the turning point in the title race?
MATCH: Celta Vigo v Barcelona
WHEN: Saturday @ 11:45PM
Again you may wonder why a fixture involving already-crowned champions features, but like Juve’s clash, it’s the team on the other side which intrigues most. Indeed, Celta Vigo were staring relegation square in the face with their deity Iago Aspas enduring an injury hell. The striker returned to the team in late March and has since scored six goals in seven games, including four assists. Aspas has wrestled his side away from the drop zone but they are not completely safe just yet with the gap at just two points. If there is one single player more important to his team than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, it’s Aspas and he’ll need to prove that again on Saturday.
MATCH: Bayer Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt
WHEN: Sunday @ 8PM
Ignore the absolute chaos which is the title race and dip your toes into the top-four contest for a weekend. There is one spot available for Champions League football next season and four teams all want it. Two of them face off on Sunday as fourth-placed Eintracht travel to sixth-placed Bayer with three points separating the pair. Peter Bosz’s young and thrilling Bayer have flamed at the right time after three damaging defeats were followed by a trio of wins. Eintracht, though, have struggled balancing their Europa League hopes with the league and have failed to win after both quarter-final legs with Benfica. They travel to Chelsea on Thursday and so Sunday could arrive with either a bounce in their step or a hangover.
MATCH: Monaco v St Etienne
WHERE: Stade Louis II
WHEN: Sunday @ 7PM
Monaco are still hanging above the relegation zone while St Etienne continue to push for a Champions League spot. Contrasting targets for the two teams but equal significance on this one game. St Etienne are three points off third-placed Lyon and given they take on Lille who are spot above them, any dropped points must be eaten up by Jean-Louis Gasset’s men. Full-back Mathieu Debuchy is confident of securing a lucrative and unexpected route into Europe as he recently said: “There is no panicking in this team, we know that at any moment, if we put our gameplan in place, we are going to have chances. We are calm.”