Del Bosque to delay naming his Spain squad until June 2

A doctor treating Diego Costa for a hamstring injury said the striker has a muscle tear that needs to be reassessed in 15 days, raising doubts about his chance of making Spain’s World Cup squad.

Pedro Guillen of the Cemtro clinic told the Cadena Cope radio station yesterday that the 25-year-old Brazil-born player had a ‘Grade 1 tear to the femoral biceps of his right leg,’ and would need 15 days recovery before his injury could be re-evaluated.

‘Costa is still carrying the injury, a micro-tear,’ said Guillen, who examined the forward.

Spain’s opener in Brazil is on June 13 against the Netherlands. The injury rules Costa out of Spain’s pre-World Cup friendly matches against Bolivia on Friday and El Salvador on June 7.

Coach Vicente del Bosque has put off naming the full World Cup squad to check on the fitness of key players at Real and Atletico Madrid after their Uefa Champions League final clash.

He said Sunday the players in his 23-man squad would need to be fit by June 2 – the Fifa deadline for squad lists.

‘We don’t know any more about Diego Costa than what was in the medical report. He has a muscular injury and we’re monitoring his recovery; we will wait until the last minute before making our decision,’ Del Bosque told Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

‘The other day I said that I would like all the players to be in good condition by June 2, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot make an exception.

‘We’re not doing this on a whim, we have until the second to give the list of 23 and we don’t have to rush things. I hope he makes it, but we have good alternatives.

‘All of the national team squads are difficult to select. We will try to take the best decision for the country.’

Speaking at training yesterday, striker Fernando Torres said muscle injuries like Costa’s were tricky because they can take weeks to heal. ‘Costa has to see if he is fit,’ said Torres.

He said the fact that Del Bosque was prepared to wait for Costa showed his importance within the squad.

The Chelsea and Spain striker, 30, said Group B was ‘a tough one for both Holland and Spain’, and that the match against the Dutch would be good because ‘they will be out for revenge’ – a reference to Spain’s victory over the Netherlands in the last World Cup final.

Costa committed himself to play for Spain – instead of Brazil – last year and played his first match with the world and European champions in March.

* Agencies

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