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Carlos Vela was feared lost for the tournament after an injury in Sunday's Gold Cup opener. Instead, Vela is left with a scare after a bit of bad luck.

Mexico received a scare early in Sunday's game against Nicaragua when talented youngster Carlos Vela went down in a crumpled heap.

Injury knocked him out of the game but the initial fears were that he would not be able to participate in the tournament any longer.

But x-rays proved negative to a feared fracture and team doctors said the injury was a sprain. Vela may be able to participate in Thursday's game in Houston despite the setback.

For his part, Vela said he was unlucky to have gone down with the injury.

"It was an unfortunate thing that this happened because it was a good opportunity to get in more minutes," Vela told Mexican daily Reforma. "But this is part of the game. You can never plan on when you will injure yourself and when you won't. But I need to try and work hard to overcome this, get back on the team and participate in the cup."

Early in Sunday's match, Vela slid to get to a loose ball and was nearly knocked down in the process. His right leg was briefly trapped under his body but he was able to free it and possibly prevent further damage.

"When it happens, you think the worst because you fear you've torn something," Vela said. "The good thing is that I was able to get my leg free at the last moment and thank God it was only a scare and we hope it doesn't happen again."

Because he was in pain, injured and receiving treatment, Vela said he did not have much time to watch the game and thus could not give his analysis of the game.

Across the Mexican media, El Tri received criticism for not having scored more goals and having played an anemic match against the minnow that is Nicaragua.

Vela, though, said the first games of tournaments are always difficult.

"The first game is always complicated becuase of the nerves," Vela said. "You want to score a goal quickly and it doesn't always work out."

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