Del Bosque 'We have replacements'

Spanish football coach hopes striker Diego Costa will recover from injury but is confident in his backup options.

    Del Bosque's other strikers include Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente [AFP]
    Del Bosque's other strikers include Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente [AFP]

    Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is hopeful Diego Costa will recover from a leg muscle injury in time to feature at the World Cup but believes the world and European champions have plenty of backup if he doesn't make it.

    Forward Costa, who plays his club football with Atletico Madrid, has been struggling with a series of niggles in recent weeks and was forced off in the ninth minute of the Champions League final against Real Madrid.

    "He has a muscle injury and we will monitor his development so we can make a last-minute decision," Del Bosque said on Spanish radio.

    "We have until June 2 to register the (final) squad of 23 and we don't need to rush," he added. "I hope he makes it but we have good replacements.

    Spain's other options

    A doctor treating Diego Costa for a hamstring injury said the striker has a muscle tear that needs to be reassessed in 15 days.

    If Brazil-born Costa is unable to make the trip to his native country for the finals starting next month, Del Bosque has several players available with a similar profile, including Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente.

    As well as Costa, winger Jesus Navas and right back Juanfran are injury concerns and Del Bosque has already called up Gerard Deulofeu as cover if Navas does not recover in time.

    Spain play a World Cup warmup against Bolivia in Seville, after which the Real and Atletico players selected for the finals will join up with the squad.


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