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Portugal “Won’t Take the Risk” with Diogo Jota Injury

If Jota isn’t fit for Portugal’s bench against Luxembourg on Tuesday he’ll return to Liverpool.

Belgium v Portugal - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Liverpool and Portugal forward Diogo Jota didn’t play for his country over the weekend when they took on Qatar in friendly action, with reports emerging that the forward was dealing with a minor muscle issue.

Today, at his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg, manager Fernando Santos was asked about his status—and confirmed Jota joined the Portuguese squad with the issue.

“He trained a while ago,” Santos said. “He increased the intensity today [in solo training], but he didn’t train with [the team]. If we see that he is in any condition to be on the bench and then he can come in, that’s fine.

“If we don’t, we won’t take the risk with a player who hasn’t been able to train with us for a long time. If he cannot participate in the game, he goes to Liverpool because, in these matters, clubs want to have players.”

The decision for Tuesday, then, will be whether Jota is ready for a cameo appearance off the bench or not. And if he isn’t, he will return to Liverpool to continue his rehabilitation ahead of Saturday’s game against Watford.

“They have confidence and know the quality of our clinical department,” the Portugal manager added. “But if he can’t play tomorrow, it makes perfect sense for him to head to Liverpool.”