ARSENAL WILL FACE ANXIOUS MOMENTS AS SANCHEZ OPTS TO PLAY FOR CHILE ON THURSDAY
Despite initial reports of an Injury, Alexis Sanchez is available and will feature in Chile’s World Cup qualifier against Uruguay after his earlier scare, La Roja coach Juan Antonio Pizzi has confirmed.
The Arsenal striker missed last Thursday’s goalless draw in Colombia after suffering what the Chile Football Association described as a ‘low-grade muscle injury’ during training.
Sanchez’s recovery was being monitored ahead of Tuesday’s visit of Uruguay to Santiago but, after returning to full training with his team-mates, the 27-year-old is now in line for a recall.
Pizzi also said Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal are available after knocks.
‘Sanchez was not ready for the game in Colombia, but we knew the injury was a small one and we could have him for this match. The three of them (Sanchez, Vidal and Bravo) are available to me for tomorrow,’ Pizzi told a press conference.
He added of Sanchez: ‘It’s not that he hasn’t trained, he’s trained every day, even when we were in Colombia he did a different kind of work. Yesterday [Sunday] he took part in full training.’
He told BeIn Sport: ‘We have to get access for our medical staff to the MRI scan to see what grade it is, how bad it is and make absolutely sure they don’t make any suicidal decision that could harm his future for two or three months.
‘It’s a grey area between the national team and the club team and of course they look at their own results which I can understand but we have to preserve the health of Alexis Sanchez.
‘He always wants to play and that’s where it is a more sensitive case because he’s always ready to play even when injured.’
Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League this weekend.
Bravo’s Manchester City, meanwhile, go to Crystal Palace.
Pizzi also dismissed any suggestion the injured players’ clubs had sought to influence his selection decisions.
‘At no time have we received pressure from any club. My stance is that I will never use a player who is not fit or capable of playing,’ he said in quotes reported by the South American media.
‘All of the clubs can remain calm, we are very respectful of our players. The health of our players is paramount, we will never force any player who has not got the medical all-clear.’
The Sanchez news will be of concern to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who earlier expressed concern that his star star player would make the ‘suicidal’ decision to risk a much worse injury by playing.