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New doubts over Figo fitness

LISBON, May 20 (AFP) - Portugal's World Cup planning suffered another setback on Monday when inspirational midfielder Luis Figo was virtually ruled out of his team's friendly against China in Macau on May 25, newspapers reported here.

The Real Madrid star, who put in a disappointing performance in the Spanish club's 2-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League final last week and was substituted, has been suffering from an injury to his right ankle since mid-February which has severely hampered his performances.

The friendly with China is Portugal's final warm-up match before they begin their World Cup campaign on June 5 against the United States.

"At the moment we are doing all we can to get Figo fit to play against China," said Portugal team doctor Henrique Jones.

"But we shouldn't forget that our goal is the World Cup."

The 29-year-old Figo said on Sunday that he was hoping to recover from his injury as soon as possible.

"I sincerely want to perform to the best of my ability at the World Cup without problem or pain," the Real Madrid star said after the squad flew into Macau for a pre-tournament training camp.

"Whatever I can do to help my team, I will do my best to do it. I hope to recover as fast as possible.

"I don't know whether it will be tomorrow or the day after. I just hope to be 100 percent as soon as possible."

As well as the United States, Portugal will face South Korea and Poland in the first round of the World Cup.
 
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