SALVADOR, Brazil – Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots insisted on Monday that star midfielder Marouane Fellaini is healthy and available to play in the team’s World Cup knockout round game at Arena Fonte Nova on Tuesday (4 pm ET, ESPN/Univision in US, CBC in Canada), but captain and center back Vincent Kompany is still a question mark against the Americans.
Fellaini reportedly left Belgium’s training session on Sunday with a calf injury, but Wilmots said the Manchester United player was expected to participate fully in the team’s 90-minute workout on Monday night with no concerns about his availability on game day.
“I don’t see any problem,” Wilmots said. “None whatsoever.”
The much bigger issue appears to be with the Manchester City defender Kompany, who suffered a groin injury during Belgium’s run through the group stage and ultimately missed the team’s finale against South Korea after passage to the knockout round was secure.
Kompany was expected to train with the team in their final workout session in Salvador on Monday night.
“We don’t know [if he can play],” Wilmots said. “We’re going to wait, and he will be training with us for an hour and a half and we’ll see after the training how it’s gone,” Wilmots said. “I’ll have to wait until [Tuesday] morning and then make a decision.”
Kompany has 60 caps for Belgium and has played with Manchester City since 2008, helping lead the club to English Premier League titles in 2011-12 and 2013-14.
Wilmots also said that defender Thomas Vermaelen (hamstring) will not be available on Tuesday, but that he could return to the team if they reach the quarterfinal round later this week. He did not comment on the health of Moussa Dembele (muscle tightness) after the midfielder sat out the team’s training session on Saturday outside Sao Paulo, but Wilmots said over the weekend that he expected Dembele to be available to play.