Portugal coach Fernando Santos has defended his decision to call up Rui Patricio for this month’s World Cup qualifiers.
The Wolves goalkeeper suffered a sickening blow to the head after colliding with team-mate Conor Coady during Monday’s 1-0 Premier League loss to Liverpool.
He was taken off on a stretcher after a lengthy delay to the match, but Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed after the match that Patricio had avoided serious injury.
The 33-year-old was named as part of the Portugal squad on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming games against Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg.
Santos told reporters: “He’s been called up because, from the moment it happened, we tried to find out everything that was going on.
“We talked to him and the medical department. He’s stable. He has a protocol to follow but they said there was no hindrance.”
Alongside established stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Dias, Santos granted recalls to striker Andre Silva and Arsenal full-back Cedric Soares.
There were also debut call-ups to Sporting CP full-back Nuno Mendes and his midfield team-mate Joao Palhinha.
Santos said he had given Palhinha “a positive assessment, otherwise he wouldn’t be here”, adding: “There were other options.
“He’s had very positive form. It’s important for him to come at this moment because there isn’t a very long international break and it’s important for me to evaluate him more closely.”
Esta é a nossa equipa para os jogos deste mês!
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