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Mexico confirms star attacker Lozano will miss Gold Cup

21:08 GMT+3 27/05/2019
Hirving Lozano Mexico
The PSV winger suffered a knee injury late in his club's season and despite hopes he would be ready, will miss the regional championship for El Tri

Hirving Lozano will miss this summer's Concacaf Gold Cup with a knee injury, Mexico has confirmed. 

The 23-year-old winger picked up the injury on April 25 while featuring for Eredivisie giants PSV in a match against Willem II after falling awkwardly under a challenge from Freek Heerkens.

Initial fears were of severe damage to the cruciate ligaments in the knee, which would have likely required a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Those fears proved unfounded and Lozano was offered hope to participate in the Gold Cup for Mexico, as he was included on El Tri's preliminary roster.

However, Lozano's hopes have now been dashed, as the federation have revealed their star man will be unable to participate as Mexico look to reclaim the regional crown from the United States.

"The directors of the national teams inform that the player, Hirving Lozano, will require more time in his recovery," a statement from the federation read. "The player came into camp Monday at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento (Mexico's training center), where the partial rupture of his MCL in right leg he showed was thoroughly evaluated.

"To establish his recovery time, they analyzed all the studies done both in Mexico as well as those PSV's medical staff performed as well as his external doctors. The conclusion was arrived at that to be at 100 percent, he needs more time than he could have to participate in the Gold Cup, which forces him out of the Mexico national team squad."

Mexico boss Tata Martino already is dealing with a weakened attack for the regional championship.

Los Angeles FC star Carlos Vela, who leads MLS in goals and assists, elected to stay with his club team for personal reasons.

Porto winger Jesus "Tecatito" Corona was selected for a pair of March friendly matches, the team's first games under Martino, but did not travel to North American to join the squad. That sparked a debate between manager and player that is yet to be resolved.

West Ham United forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez requested not to be selected as he awaits the birth of his child.

Real Betis winger Diego Lainez is in Poland with the Mexico U-20 team.

Martino does have Monterrey attacker Rodolfo Pizarro in the squad, but the former Chivas star has not excelled as a true winger. On the other wing, 20-year-old Roberto Alvarado may be called into action. The Cruz Azul youngster also has played as an interior midfielder at club level, but El Tri are strong there with options like Real Betis' Andres Guardado, PSV's Erick Gutierrez, Monterrey's Carlos Rodriguez and the LA Galaxy's Jonathan dos Santos - though Porto midfielder Hector Herrera is skipping the tournament as he awaits a summer transfer.

Monterrey's Jesus Gallardo also can play on the left wing, though his services may be needed at left back with Miguel Layun out of the tournament because of a renal issue. 

Martino can begin to put his lineup together today, with most of his Gold Cup squad beginning training sessions at the CAR. The team will contest a pair of preparation matches, facing Venezuela in Atlanta and Ecuador in Texas, before kicking off Gold Cup group play June 15 at the Rose Bowl in Southern California.