Football: Chile's injured Sanchez to miss Colombia tie

Chile's player Alexis Sanchez taking a break in Santiago on Nov 8, 2016 during a training session ahead of their WC 2018 qualifier against Colombia.
Chile's player Alexis Sanchez taking a break in Santiago on Nov 8, 2016 during a training session ahead of their WC 2018 qualifier against Colombia.PHOTO: AFP

SANTIAGO (AFP) - Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez suffered a muscle strain Tuesday (Nov 8) that will keep him out of Chile's looming World Cup qualifier against Colombia, his national team said.

The 27-year-old striker picked up "a low-grade muscular injury" in training, Chile's National Football Association said in a statement.

It was the squad's last training session before they leave for Thursday's playoff in Barranquilla, Colombia.

"The player will remain in Santiago, undergoing treatment and evaluation ahead of the match against Uruguay" in Chile on Nov 15, the body said.

Sanchez's absence for the tough Colombia match is a serious blow to coach Juan Antonio Pizzi.

His squad is in fifth place in its qualifying group, fighting to reach the 2018 World Cup finals in 2018.

Another key player, Inter Milan midfielder Gary Medel, is also out for Thursday's match, suspended until the Uruguay tie.

Along with the likes of Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich and Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, Sanchez is one in a golden age of Chile players.

Chile won the Copa America Centenario this year and the Copa America in 2015.