Injury controversy over Jose Luis Gaya following Valencia return

Valencia defender Jose Luis Gaya’s place at the 2022 World Cup was ended by injury this week but the Los Che captain has now recovered.

Gaya was removed from Luis Enrique’s squad after suffering an ankle injury in training, and he did not feature in La Roja’s 3-1 friendly win over Jordan, as his problem was assessed.

On Thursday, Enrique confirmed his decision on Gaya’s fitness on Friday, when the squad arrived in Qatar, with the 27-year-old later flying back to Spain.

Barcelona rising star Alex Balde was called up as a replacement for Gaya but the veteran full back has already returned to light training.

The move was initially viewed as premature, as Gaya battled to prove his fitness, with reports from Diario AS claiming Valencia’s medical team have already declared him fit.

Gaya did not appear to suffer a lack of movement in his journey back to Spain, with frustration from the player over the move, as Enrique admitted he opted for caution.

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