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Romania keeper Tatarusanu fit to face Greece in playoff

Steaua Bucharest's goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu reacts after a goal was scored by FC Basel's Giovanni Sio during their Champions League Gro
Steaua Bucharest's goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu reacts after a goal was scored by FC Basel's Giovanni Sio during their Champions League Gro

(Reuters) - Romania goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu will be fit for Friday's World Cup playoff against Greece after the back injury he suffered on Monday turned out to be less serious than thought, coach Victor Piturca said on Thursday.

First-choice keeper Tatarusanu sustained the injury in training and Piturca called up Manchester City's Costel Pantilimon, who was surprisingly left out of the initial squad despite impressive performances in recent weeks.

"Fortunately, things look good at the moment," Piturca told a news conference. "Tatarusanu is fit to play tomorrow. He trained at 90 percent yesterday and it's normal training for him today."

Romania play Greece at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in Athens in the first playoff on Friday, with the return leg at the National Arena in Bucharest on Tuesday.

Piturca said that captain Vlad Chiriches, who suffered a fractured nose during his team Tottenham Hotspur's 1-0 home loss to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday, would join the team in Athens but would definitely not play.

"He'll arrive today, if his face mask is ready, or tomorrow but he'll not play on Friday," said Piturca. "He could play on Tuesday but even this is not sure.

"He'll train with the team tomorrow. I wanted him to be with us, he wanted to and that's it for now."

(Writing by Angel Krasimirov in Sofia; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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