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Injury rules Elano out for Dutch clash

Brazil will be without Elano for tomorrow's quarter-final against Holland.

The team's medical staff said the midfielder has not recovered from an ankle injury and could be out for the rest of the World Cup.

Former Manchester City man Elano, 29, suffered the injury in a challenge by Ivory Coast defender Cheik Tiote in Brazil's 3-1 victory last Sunday week and limped out of a training session yesterday.

Brazil's team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said: "I'm not saying that he won't be able to play again at this World Cup but he won't be ready for Friday.

"He has bad bruising and it was after he trained on Sunday that he said that he was having problems. The bone is swollen and we have to release the pressure on it so he will do nothing strenuous for the rest of the week."

"We still hope he can play next week but I can't say that he will be able to categorically."

Elano scored a goal in each of Brazil's first two matches and was practicing normally on Tuesday but was forced to leave after apparently feeling pain in the ankle. He was undergoing a light training session with the rest of the players but had to cut it short after consulting with team doctors.

"It was a spectacular start after scoring two goals in the first two matches," Elano said. "Of course I'm sad, but I remain positive. I'm hopeful that I will still be able to play. I have to be patient now, that's all I can do."



Oscar keeps dream alive

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez is challenging his players to make the nation's dream come true as they attempt to book their place in the World Cup semi-finals.

The South Americans face the last surviving African side, Ghana, in the quarter-finals at Johannesburg's Soccer City tomorrow with their fans hoping against all hope for a repeat of the heroics that saw them lift the trophy in both 1930 and 1950.

Tabarez has been delighted with the unity within his squad and the joy with which their achievements to date have been received back at home. Now he is hoping that same sense of joint purpose will carry them even further in the competition.

Tabarez said: "Before we began this World Cup, we saw this great harmony among the players and I said to them: 'The people back home have aspirations, they have dreams and we have to deliver them.'

"We all have objectives, both professional and personal, and our objective is to go as far as we can in this tournament."


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