Jesus Corona is out of the Mexico squad for friendly matches against Croatia and Ireland and will return to Cruz Azul to continue rehabilitating a knee injury, the Mexican federation announced Tuesday.
The goalkeeper was part of coach Juan Carlos Osorio's call-up of 32 players as El Tri prepares for June's World Cup qualification matches against Honduras and the United States, and a trip to Russia for the Confederations Cup just days after.
Pain in his left knee kept Ochoa out of Cruz Azul's final league match of the season, a 2-1 win over Leon. After undergoing various tests with the national team in Mexico City, it was determined that the injury is still hampering the 36-year-old.
The absence could open up a spot on Mexico's Confederations Cup roster, with Osorio set to take Guillermo Ochoa and Alfredo Talavera as his first and second-choice goalkeepers.
Moises Munoz, who spent the last season with Chiapas on loan from Club America, is the only other goalkeeper Osorio has given time since taking over in November 2015, though Monterrey goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez, Chivas goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota and Santos Laguna's Jonathan Orozco all have been named on rosters. A replacement is expected to be named later this week.
Mexico opens its busy summer Saturday against Croatia in Los Angeles then meets Ireland on June 1 in the New York City area before June's qualifiers.