Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez is likely to miss out on Chile’s group stages at the Copa America 2021 after suffering a foot injury in training.
Chile confirmed via the official statement that the 32-year-old picked up an injury that will keep him on the sidelines beyond the tournament’s group stage, as relayed by the Daily Mail.
Despite blowing hot and cold for Inter, Sanchez has been an evergreen figure at the national team since making his senior international debut in April 2006. The versatile forward has amassed 136 appearances for Chile in all competitions, including friendlies, mustering 46 goals and 39 assists in the process.
Sanchez is his country’s most-capped player and the highest-ever goalscorer and was part of the Chile team to win the Copa America in 2015 and 2016. Even though he spent most of the 2020/21 campaign playing second fiddle to Lautaro Martinez, he racked up 30 Serie A outings under Antonio Conte, scoring seven and assisting as many.
However, the former Arsenal and Manchester United star won’t be able to help Martin Lasarte’s men overcome stiff competition in the Copa America Group A.
Chile will take on the likes of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay in their continental section without their standout performer, the national team confirmed.
“The medical corps of the Chilean national team reports Alexis Sanchez, after training yesterday, presented a plantar-thin muscle injury,” an official Chile statement said.
“The estimated recovery time goes beyond the group stage of the Copa América 2021, for which the athlete will remain in his recovery process in Chile, with the medical team of the national team.“
Sanchez’s absence from the Copa America group stages comes as a continuation of his physical problems that have seen him make just six appearances for the national team over the past two years.
Chile’s Copa America campaign gets underway on Monday when they lock horns with Lionel Messi’s Argentina at the Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro