Mexican national team figure Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona has been ruled out of the World Cup.
The player originally suffered a fracture in his fibula and ligament damage to his left ankle during a training session with Sevilla in August, keeping him on the sidelines for months.
The La Liga club announced his recovery timeline would extend through December or January, making a World Cup appearance unlikely. But the Mexican national team failed to officially rule out the player prior, in hopes of a speedy return.
Speaking in a press conference from Girona, Spain, however, Mexican national team head coach Gerardo Martino finally addressed the situation.
“The decision was made because we had a triple communication with Jesus, where we spoke with the doctor, the physical trainer and myself,” he said. “He [Corona] directly told me that he was not in a position to fight for a [World Cup] spot.”
The news comes days before Tata Martino announces the final 26-player roster headed to Qatar for the international tournament.
His absence comes as a huge blow for the team, after Tecatito played an integral role in Mexico’s qualification process. Overall, he’s managed 10 goals in 71 appearances since making his El Tri debut in 2014.
Martino will likely depend on Chivas de Guadalajara figure Alexis Vega to take his place on the pitch, after using the forward in several friendlies leading up to Qatar. Diego Lainez, Uriel Antuna and Roberto ‘Piojo’ Alvarado are currently fighting for the supporting role on the team.
Mexico will kick off their World Cup campaign on November 22 against Poland, before taking on Group C rivals Argentina and Saudi Arabia.