Chile's Sanchez out of Copa America group stage with injury

AP , Sunday 13 Jun 2021

Alexis Sanchez
Chile's Alexis Sanchez (L) and Bolivia's Leonel Justiniano vie for the ball during their South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the National Stadium in Santiago on June 8, 2021. (AFP)

Striker Alexis Sanchez will not travel to Brazil with the rest of the Chile squad and will miss at least the group stage of Copa America due to a calf injury.

Chile's national team said in a statement on Saturday that 32-year-old Sanchez felt muscular soreness in a calf after a training session. It did not give more details.

``The recovery time goes beyond the Copa America group stage, so the athlete will remain in Chile with the medical staff of the national team,`` the statement said.

Chile's first match in the tournament will be on Monday against Argentina at the Nilton Santos stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil and Venezuela will open Copa America on Sunday at the Mane Garrincha stadium in Brasilia. There will be no fans attending due to the country's alarming COVID-19 figures _ more than 480,000 people have died of the disease in Brazil.

The Copa America is divided into two groups of five teams. Group A includes Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay. Brazil is in Group B with Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru. The four best of each group advance to the knockout stage.

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