Willy Boly did not train this week due to sickness and only returned to the field today. As a result, he is expected to miss tomorrow’s clash at Leeds – further depleting Lage’s already small squad.
Yerson Mosquera, Jonny Castro Otto and Pedro Neto are all recovering from long-term injuries, while Raul Jimenez was rested last week after long flights during the international break, and Lage is concerned about losing any more of his players.
“He (Boly) felt sick after the game and the medical department said he’s not available for the game,” Lage said.
“He started training (on Friday) and I hope against Everton he’ll be back. We need Willy. We need the best Willy, because he’s an important player for us.
“This is why I took the decision with Raul, because we are at the point where we cannot miss more players. We want to put the best players on the pitch but in the same I don’t want to miss any player.”
When asked if that puts more pressure on the centre-back situation, Lage added: “The pressure is to create that team that I want to create. I continue with the same pressure.
“It’s a long season. It’s a hard competition. We can see the way we fight during 90 minutes and the last game was a good example.
“These kind of questions can happen. One time one player cannot be involved in the game, like what happened with Raul. The same can happen with one or two players. That’s why if you have a small squad these kind of problems turn into a major problem, because we cannot put players at risk.
“One thing is to lose a player for one game and another is to lose them, like Yerson, for two or three months. We have some players out for a long period. I prefer to lose a player for one training or one week, or one game, instead of losing players for more than that.”
Meanwhile, Lage has confirmed that Bruno Jordao has returned to the grass but is not yet ready for team training.
The midfielder is recovering from the knee injury that cut his loan at Famalicao short last season.
“He’s started training on the pitch but he needs more time to recover (before joining team training),” he said.
“Sometimes I don’t talk about Bruno Jordao, Pedro Neto or Jonny because these are the guys that need more time.
“I know they are important players for us, but they need more time to recover and be involved with the team.”
Neto was due to see a specialist this month as he continues to recover from a broken kneecap.
When asked for an update, Lage said: “There’s no news, I only know what the doctor says to me.
“Dr Rob (Charaverty) will travel in the next week to Portugal to work with Pedro and maybe after that we’ll have some news to try and understand how much longer he needs to recover to be 100 per cent.”