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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Daei gives Iran injury concern
Ali Daei
Veteran Daei felt discomfort in his back after Sunday's defeat
Iran coach Branko Ivankovic faces a worry ahead of Saturday's game against Portugal, with the news that his captain Ali Daei has a back injury.

The striker sustained the problem in Sunday's Group D opener against Mexico, which his side lost 3-1.

And Ivankovic is not optimistic the 37-year-old will recover in time for the crucial match in Frankfurt.

"Ali did not train on Monday because of a back injury. It will be very hard for him to face Portugal," said Ivankovic.

Daei's injury is the latest of a troubled World Cup campaign for the Iranians so far.

Key midfielder Mehdi Mahdavikia played through the pain of a thigh problem against Mexico, while keeper Ebrahim Mirzapour almost had to sit out the match because of jet lag.

Mexico 3-1 Iran
11 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
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22 May 06 |  Iran
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31 May 06 |  Squad selectors
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25 May 06 |  Schedule
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28 Apr 06 |  Football
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27 Apr 06 |  BBC coverage

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