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Ankle sprain may rule Real Madrid central midfielder out...

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso is a doubt for the World Cup round of 16 showdown with Iberian neighbours Portugal after suffering a sprained ankle in their win over Chile.

Alonso was replaced by Javi Martinez in the 73 minute of la Furia Roja's 2-1 win over the South Americans, which saw them claim top spot in Group H and set up a second round meeting with the Portuguese which takes place on Tuesday.

While the minor ankle sprain could rule him out of the game, Alonso and the team's physician, Dr Oscar Luis Celada are hopeful that he will recover in time to be considered for selection as they look to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

"I suffered after the break because I felt good but the second tackle hit me in the ankle again and I asked for the change because it hurt. I hope I don't have trouble playing against Portugal," Alonso said, according to AS.

"The first review has confirmed that he has a sprained ankle suffered in the strong challenge that he received, but we are optimistic at this point that he will play the knockout match," Celada was quoted as saying by Marca.

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