Casemiro named in Brazil squad for World Cup qualifiers despite long-term injury
Rio de Janeiro, Oct 22 (IANS) Injured Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro is expected to be given until the last minute to prove his fitness for Brazil's 2018 football World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Peru next month.
Casemiro was among 24 footballers named by Brazil coach Tite on Friday for the team's final appearances this year. The former Sao Paulo player has not played since fracturing a fibula in Real Madrid's 2-0 victory over Espanyol in La Liga last month, reports Xinhua.
"I was in Madrid and I spoke with the medical department there, " Tite told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro. "I went to look at Casemiro and some other players. He is currently restricted to swimming, weights, and physiotherapy. We decided to choose him and wait and see. It will depend on how his recovery goes."
Tite also recalled Casemiro's Real Madrid teammate Marcelo, Bayern Munich winger Douglas Costa and Sao Paulo centre-back Rodrigo Caio. All four missed Brazil's qualifying victories over Bolivia and Venezuela last month due to injury.
Brazil are currently first in the South American zone qualifying standings with 21 points, one point ahead of second-placed Uruguay.
The Selecao will host Argentina in Belo Horizonte on November 10 before traveling to Lima for a clash against Peru five days later.
The top four teams at the end of the two-year qualifying campaign will earn an automatic berth at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The fifth-ranked side will meet the Oceania champions in an inter-continental playoff.
Goalkeepers: Alex Muralha (Flamengo), Alisson (Roma), Weverton (Atletico Paranaense)
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Juventus), Fagner (Corinthians), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Gil (Shandong Luneng), Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Thiago Silva (PSG), Rodrigo Caio (Sao Paulo).
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Giuliano (Zenit), Lucas Lima (Santos), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Willian (Chelsea).
Forwards: Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich), Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras), Neymar (Barcelona), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).