Mexico midfielder Alvarez says injury 'only a scare'

Denis Poroy
The Club America player left a 3-1 victory over Venezuela on Wednesday with an apparent knee injury, but is optimistic he'll be fit for the Gold Cup

Mexico midfielder Edson Alvarez said the knee injury suffered Wednesday against Venezuela is 'only a scare', making it likely he'll be fit for El Tri during this summer's Gold Cup. 

The Club America player, who also plays at center back and played right back under previous Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio, left Wednesday's friendly after just a half-hour. Fears were raised, with Alvarez having missed the Liguilla with an injury to the same knee.  

The only player to start all three games under new Mexico manager Tata Martino, Alvarez still was named to Mexico's 23-man list for the Concacaf championship. However, Martino stated his plan to replace Alvarez with LA Galaxy attacker Uriel Antuna, who was on Martino's 29-man provisional roster, should the player's injury keep him out of the tournament. It looks like that won't be needed, though the federation is yet to release an official statement.

"Thank God it was only a scare. Thanks to everyone for your messages," Alvarez wrote on Twitter.

He posted the same message on Instagram, also citing Psalm 27:3 "Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident."

The message will be a welcome one for Mexico. Martino named only 29 players to his provisional squad despite the ability to name 40. An injury replacement for Alvarez, or any other player who takes a knock, would have to come from that list. However, Antuna is the only field player remaining on the list who is not either already in the squad or injured.

Alvarez in particular is set to play a big part in Martino's 4-3-3, with the former Argentina and Barcelona boss seeing him as the centerpiece in his three-man midfield.

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"We’re going to wait and see. Apart from the football, where it’s obvious he’s not the player you want to lose," Martino said after Wednesday's match. "It worries me or, better said, it makes me sad that with the effort he made may not be rewarded." 

The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to Europe in the offseason. Despite signing an extension with America recently, there reportedly is interest from teams in several of Europe's top leagues.

El Tri have a final friendly before the beginning of Gold Cup play, taking on Ecuador on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in North Texas. They begin Gold Cup play June 15 against Cuba.