Brazilian forward Hulk left the team’s last training session prematurely due to a suspected leg injury.
He was spotted holding his leg after scoring a goal in the last session before the Mexico matchup on Tuesday, and walked without a limp towards the bench. He sat on the bench with his head down, perhaps worrying about the intensity of the injury.
Also, last Thursday when Brazil played Croatia, Neymar seemed to roll his ankle in the pre-match warmups. A couple of big injury scares for the tournament hosts.
Hulk was taken from the bench and brought to the locker room by a trainer where the Brazilian national team will examine the severity of the injury.
No comment from the Brazilian federation yet.
This can potentially be a harmful exclusion from the Brazil starting XI if Hulk isn’t ready to go by Tuesday. His replacements don’t seem too intimidating.
Bernard came off the bench for Hulk in the 68th minute of last Thursday’s game and had no impact. Bernard played nowhere near as well as Hulk did down the right flank. Hulk brings a large presence with his size and shocking speed. Bernard just gave Brazil another option coming off the bench.
Another possibility for replacing Hulk in the starting XI is bringing in a Chelsea talisman. Ramires and Willian both play for their respective club, Chelsea FC, and both rode the bench Thursday afternoon in São Paulo, Brazil.
The two Brazilians play very similarly but perhaps the chemistry between Oscar and Willian could benefit the team more if Hulk isn’t ready to play by Tuesday. Ramires was a second team option to Willian for most of last season at Chelsea FC and Willian often played out wide to accompany Oscar, who played in the central attacking role. The two Brazilians terrorized defenses in the Barclays Premier League and could present that same danger for Brazil.
Brazil head into their second matchup of the group stages on Tuesday against Mexico.