BUENOS AIRES Argentina midfielder Fernando Gago could miss the World Cup due to a knee injury after his club Boca Juniors said on Monday he would need up to 60 days to recover.
A scan revealed ligament damage after Gago suffered a hard knock during Boca's 0-0 draw at Colon in Santa Fe in the Argentine first division on Sunday.
"The midfielder suffered a grade two sprain in his left knee, with partial lesion of the collateral medial ligament," Boca said on their official website (www.bocajuniors.com.ar).
Club doctors recommended the knee be immobilised for two weeks and that Gago, who will miss the rest of the Argentine season, which ends in mid-May, should then begin rehabilitation.
Argentina play Bosnia-Herzegovina in Rio de Janeiro in their opening Group F match on June 15. They also face Iran and Nigeria in the group.
Coach Alejandro Sabella considers Gago to be Lionel Messi's ideal ball provider on the right side of a midfield that includes Javier Mascherano in the middle and Angel Di Maria on the left.
Gago looks set to miss World Cup warm-ups against Trinidad and Tobago in Buenos Aires on June 4 and Slovenia three days later in La Plata.
Sabella, whose squad are due to assemble to start preparations for the tournament in Buenos Aires on May 20, has so far not commented on Gago's injury.
(Reporting by Rex Gowar, editing by Peter Rutherford/Ed Osmond)