An inflammation of the Achilles tendon could leave Costa Rica’s (and Real Madrid‘s) star goalkeeper Keylor Navas off the national team that currently is preparing for CONCACAF’s Gold Cup next month in the United States.
Navas on Wednesday will undergo medical and physical evaluations to decide whether he can continue training for the tournament or if he must return to Spain to receive treatment by Real Madrid doctors.
Adrián Gutiérrez, president of Costa Rica’s National Teams Committee, and also a doctor, said Navas’ situation will depend on a decision made by the national team’s medical staff.
“We need to discuss this with the team’s orthopedist. I also plan to meet with the team’s other physicians, with coach [Paulo César] Wanchope and with Keylor to evaluate his case, and then we will talk to Real Madrid’s people to make a final decision,” Gutiérrez told the press on Tuesday.
He said that the chronic injury is caused by playing several concurrent matches. Gutiérrez said Navas has not obtained proper rest in the past 24 months, due to an intense schedule with Costa Rica’s national men’s team, known as La Sele, and with his last two clubs, Levante UD and Real Madrid.
Navas had a similar problem during FIFA’s World Cup last year in Brazil and was close to missing one of the matches. In the end, he overcame the pain and became Costa Rica’s top player at a tournament where La Sele finished eighth among 32 national teams.
If doctors say Navas is not in good condition to play in the Gold Cup, the team’s starting goalkeeper likely would be AZ Alkmaar’s Esteban Alvarado. La Sele’s roster includes Deportivo Saprissa goalie Danny Carvajal and Alajuelense Patrick Pemberton. Coach Wanchope registered all of them to participate in the CONCACAF tournament scheduled to start on July 7.
Real Madrid will begin the preseason in 24 days under the command of a new coach, Rafael Benítez, who has stated that he is counting on Navas for the next La Liga season in Spain.
AFP contributed to this report.