Yaya Toure was left out of the Ivory Coast’s final World Cup warm-up match as a precautionary measure, with the team management playing down fears over the midfielder’s fitness for the Brazil tournament.
Toure was a spectator as Gervinho and Didier Drogba scored first-half goals in a 2-1 friendly win over El Salvador in Frisco, near Dallas on Wednesday as the Ivorians concluded their America-based preparations for the finals.
“Yaya Toure has not presented any alarming signs as regards his fitness but the technical staff of the Ivorian team wants to rest a player who has come through injury and had a tiring season,” a statement said.
However, media reports speculated that the reigning African Footballer of the Year was seen wincing with pain in training before the El Salvador match.
Toure only joined the squad last weekend after missing the first fortnight of their training camp to undergo surgery in Qatar and was seen training alone and along with the team.
The Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in Doha confirmed the Manchester City midfielder’s admission for what it called a “minor injury” two weeks ago.
Toure suffered a thigh injury in mid-April but returned to help City secure the Premier League title for the second time in three years.
On the last day of the Premier League season on May 11, he went off in the second half with a reported hamstring injury in City’s win over West Ham.
The Ivorians arrive in Brazil on Friday where they will open their Group C campaign against Japan in Recife on June 14, before facing Colombia and Greece.