Sanchez may recover in time to take part

Alexis Sanchez's ankle injury is not as bad as feared earlier.
Alexis Sanchez's ankle injury is not as bad as feared earlier.

SANTIAGO • Chile forward Alexis Sanchez took part in training with his international team-mates on Tuesday, ahead of today's World Cup qualifying clash with Argentina, shrugging off fears that an ankle injury would rule him out of the game.

He limped out of Arsenal's 3-1 English Premier League defeat by West Bromwich Albion on Saturday after scoring the Gunners' only goal.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger later indicated Sanchez had suffered a serious injury, telling reporters the Chilean's right ankle was in "an absolutely terrible state".

However, the 28-year-old took to social media on Monday to suggest that he could play a part in the World Cup qualifier. He posted a photo of himself in Chile's colours on Instagram with a caption that translates to "The only failure is not to try".

Sanchez, whose Arsenal future is the subject of intense transfer speculation, showed no sign of the injury as he trained in Santiago on Tuesday.

He smiled and laughed as he jogged with team-mates during the session, as Chile prepare for a crucial showdown with Argentina in Buenos Aires today.

Chile's biggest fitness concern surrounds Inter Milan defender Gary Medel, who trained separately from his team-mates as he nurses a thigh strain.

Chile are already missing Arturo Vidal through suspension for today's game, which is a rematch of the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals won by the Chileans on each occasion.

He took to Twitter on Tuesday to rally support for Chile.

"We are now 1000% concentrated on the six points!!! Come on, Chile," wrote Vidal, who will return from suspension to face Venezuela next Tuesday in Santiago.

Chile are currently in fourth place in the qualifying standings with 20 points from 12 games. Argentina are just outside the automatic qualifying places in fifth spot with 19 points.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2017, with the headline 'Sanchez may recover in time to take part'. Print Edition | Subscribe