MADRID, SPAIN - Wednesday, March 15, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota lines-up before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg game between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Madrid won 1-0 (6-2 on aggregate). (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Diogo Jota ‘injury’ explained after striker skipped Portugal training

Diogo Jota sparked concern among Liverpool fans after reports of an injury that saw him miss Portugal training, but claims over his fitness are overblown.

Jota is part of the Portugal squad at this summer’s Euros, but so far the striker has only featured once for his country off the bench.

He saw a goal ruled out in the opening 2-1 victory over Czechia, having come on for the final 27 minutes, then went unused in the 3-0 victory over Turkiye.

With Portugal already qualified for the last 16 and almost certainly Group F winners, Jota could have been expected to start the final group game against Georgia on Wednesday.

However, CNN Portugal report that he was among those to miss training on Monday, along with left-back Nuno Mendes and fellow forward Goncalo Ramos.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 15: Laszlo Kleinheisler of Hungary is closed down by Diogo Jota of Portugal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group F match between Hungary and Portugal at Puskas Arena on June 15, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Angel Martinez - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

It was spun elsewhere that Jota was an injury concern, which prompted fears among Liverpool fans, but the reason for his absence was simply “muscle fatigue.”

While Mendes remained in the gym, Jota and Ramos both worked with fitness coaches aside from the main group led by manager Roberto Martinez.

There is an expectation that they will still be part of the squad to face Georgia, then, with there even a chance that Jota could start.

Portugal will certainly be without regular left winger Rafael Leao, with the AC Milan forward suspended for the final group tie after being booked in the previous two games.

BERGAMO, ITALY - Thursday, April 18, 2024: Liverpool's substitutes Darwin Núñez (L) and Diogo Jota before the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between BC Atalanta and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. Liverpool won 1-0 but Atalanta progress 3-1 on aggregate. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jota headed into the Euros having not played a full 90 minutes for club or country since February, having picked up injuries in each of his last two starts for Liverpool.

That led him to admit last week that while he felt “capable of starting a game,” he was unsure if he “can play 90 or 120 [minutes].”

Martinez named an unchanged forward line against both Czechia and Turkiye, with Cristiano Ronaldo up front and flanked by Leao and Bernardo Silva, supported by Bruno Fernandes as No. 10.