Argentina will have to make do without the services of Paulo Dybala in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia after the Juventus attacker was forced to withdraw from the squad due to a muscular problem.
The 22-year-old missed Juve’s’ Champions League clash with Bayern Munich due to the problem, before he was taken off after 32 minutes of his return against Torino as the injury recurred.
National coach Gerardo Martino hoped Dybala would be match fit in time to represent his country, but he has now been ruled out.
“Dybala’s withdrawal was not unexpected,” Martino said at a news conference.
“Juventus were kind enough to allow him to fly down to Argentina, but he will not be ready for these two games.
“We will not call up a replacement for Dybala.”
Dybala will fly back to Turin on Thursday to continue his recovery program.
The former Palermo star is the fourth player to miss out after Enzo Perez, Javier Pastore and Nicolas Gaitan.
Argentina sit sixth in the standings for the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign with five points from four games ahead of Thursday’s match with Chile.
“We want to get the full six points from these two games and climb up the table,” Martino added.
“We have analysed how [Chile coach Juan Antonio] Pizzi’s teams play and have based our team on that.
“There is not much to say about the injured players. We always have good replacements available with this team.
“[Javier] Mascherano and [Lionel] Messi are the two points of reference for this team.”