Granit Xhaka picked up a knee injury but, despite having to be helped from the pitch, will not miss the World Cup after bone bruising was confirmed rather than ligament damage as first feared.
The Switzerland manager has come in for critisicm because of the state of the pitch. There had been torrential rain and he continued with the training session. As you can see in the video below, the pitch was heavily waterlogged at the time Xhaka picked up his injury.
As you can also see, there isn’t really much to the tackle:
Valon Behrami, Xhaka’s teammate who made the tackle, said, “He hangs back with his leg. Next time I would go to the side. We were all shocked when Granit lay on the ground.”
The 25-year-old, who was one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers last season, was relieved to find out that the damage to his knee was no more than bruising rather than ligament damage as had been first feared.
“It’s just a painful bruise on the knee,” Swiss team doctor Pierre Etienne Fournier said.
Xhaka was expected to miss Switzerland’s warm-up game against Spain on Sunday but it seems as if he is now in with a chance of playing. Reports from his home country, based on a press conference with manager, Vladimir Petkovic, revealed that the player was already back in training and could be used in the game.
The player himself said he was ‘very relieved’ when the test results returned.
Speaking to the media in his homeland earlier this week, Xhaka was asked about the criticism he received over the course of last season, especially from pundits.
Does it bother him? “No, I can deal with that, although I have not always understood the critical tones, and occasionally wondered who said it all, but there are comments from former greats for whom I have a great deal of respect.”