Vincent Kompany: Injured defender to stay with Belgium squad

Vincent Kompany (right) with Christian Benteke in training
Vincent Kompany (right) has 72 caps for Belgium

Belgium defender Vincent Kompany will remain with the squad despite being sidelined by a groin injury, said coach Roberto Martinez.

The Manchester City captain has not played since suffering the injury in a friendly draw with Portugal two weeks ago.

He is not expected to be fit until Belgium's final group G game against England in Kaliningrad on 28 June.

"We are going to maintain the squad of 23 as announced," said Martinez.

Martinez could have made a change to his squad on Sunday, the day before Belgium begin their World Cup campaign against Panama in Sochi.

"We are not going to use any changes," said the former Everton boss. "Vinny has evolved better than we thought, even though we thought that he could have a good opportunity to be involved in the group phase.

"Now he has a stronger opportunity."

Martinez said Kompany is "a very valuable part" of his squad due to his "experience" and "know-how".

Belgium also have concerns over Barcelona's Thomas Vermaelen, who is struggling to overcome a hamstring problem.

Thomas Vermaelen
Thomas Vermaelen is also sidelined for the Red Devils

The 32-year-old stayed at the team's Moscow base rather than travel to the Black Sea coast for Monday's game.

Standby option Laurent Ciman, who plays in Major League Soccer for Los Angeles FC, had already been allowed to travel back to Belgium on Saturday.

Without Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata could play alongside Tottenham Hotspur pair Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld against Panama.

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