Montevideo; Uruguayan defender Jose Maria Gimenez has been ruled out for his country’s upcoming World Cup 2018 South American qualifiers against Ecuador and Chile due to an injury sustained in a training session for club Atletico Madrid.
Twenty-year-old Gimenez “sustained a muscular injury to his right rectus femoris”, the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) said in a press release on Friday, reports Xinhua. The injury “rules out his participation in the Qualifiers matches” on November 12 and 17 in Quito and Montevideo respectively, added the press release. Uruguay’s coach Oscar Tabarez has called upon 21-year-old central defender Emiliano Velazquez (Getafe, Spain) to replace Gimenez.
After the first two qualifiers, Uruguay lead the South American tournament with a perfect score by defeating Bolivia in La Paz 2-0 and Colombia in Montevideo 3-0. The third and fourth qualifiers bring about the return of attacker Edinson Cavani after completing a two-match-ban for an incident at the Copa America tournament earlier in the year involving Chilean Gonzalo Jara. Forward Luis Suarez still has to miss two more matches in punishment for biting Italian Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup Brazil 2014.