Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned Chile not to make a “suicidal decision” regarding the fitness of Alexis Sanchez and risk aggravating his hamstring injury.
Sanchez, 27, left Chile training on Tuesday to undergo medical testing on what the Chilean Football Federation later said was a muscle strain.
The forward will not feature in his country’s World Cup qualifying match against Colombia on Thursday but will be evaluated before the Nov. 15 clash with Uruguay — which Wenger hopes he will miss, having heard Sanchez has sustained a hamstring problem.
“I got a text last night [to say] that he has a hamstring injury,” Wenger is quoted by the Daily Mirror as telling beIN Sports. “The team from Chile has travelled without him and they kept him to try and get him fit to play Uruguay for the second game on Tuesday night.
“I believe that with a hamstring injury, 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.
“That is absolutely important. 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.”
Sanchez, who sustained a hamstring injury last season, played the full 90 minutes on Sunday as Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw with Tottenham.
Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi reiterated on Thursday that Sanchez’s injury is minor.
“There is no plan right now to send Alexis back to England,” Pizzi told El Mercurio. “We think there is a chance he can play on Tuesday [vs. Uruguay].”
The Chile newspaper reported that Sanchez is undergoing treatment three times daily with muscle relaxants and physical therapy while they wait for the initial swelling to go down.
“The recovery time for this type of injury [muscle strain] is faster than it would be for any kind of tear, but it is very difficult to heal 100 percent in one week,” team doctor Cristian Fontbote said. “To participate in a brusque activity could interrupt the initial healing.”
Wenger will be hoping the former Barcelona man will be fit for the Gunners’ next game against Manchester United on Nov. 19.
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Culled from ESPNFC