SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile’s Matias Fernandez will miss the World Cup in Brazil after an ankle injury left him needing surgery, the midfielder said on Tuesday.
“I didn’t know until Monday, they did some tests and they found that I needed an operation. That wasn’t in my plans and much less so not going to the World Cup,” the 28-year-old Fernandez told a news conference.
Fiorentina’s Fernandez, nicknamed ‘Matigol’, is an experienced attacking player whose absence will be keenly felt by Chile, who are already sweating on the fitness of key midfielder Arturo Vidal.
Vidal, a key component in Juventus’s Serie A-winning side this season, is in the provisional squad for the June 12 - July 13 tournament finals, but may struggle to fully recover from knee surgery carried out earlier this month.
Coached by Argentine Jorge Sampaoli, Chile are long-odds outsiders for the tournament and have been drawn in a tough group that also includes holders Spain, Netherlands and Australia.
Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; editing by Toby Davis