Otamendi among trio out of Argentina squad for Mexico double-header

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The 30-year-old had been out of action with a knock and has not played for his club since October as a result

Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi has pulled out of the Argentina squad to face Mexico in back-to-back friendlies this month.

The 30-year-old has not played for the Premier League champions since October, and was unavailable for the Carabao Cup win over Fulham and Premier League success over Southampton due to an undisclosed knock.

He returned to the City squad for the Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk last week but was an unused substitute before being omitted from the 18 which faced Manchester United.

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Otamendi has not been deemed fit enough to face El Tri in the two friendlies scheduled to take place in Cordoba on Friday November 16 and Mendoza on Tuesday November 20 during the international break, and is among three withdrawals.

Argentina say the ex-Porto and Valencia defender is suffering from tendinitis in his Achilles and will be unable to add to his 59 caps.

Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio and Racing midfielder Matias Zaracho - who had been called-up for the first time - have also pulled out with ankle and knee injuries.

No replacements have been confirmed by the two-time world champions.

Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain, all of whom have not played since the World Cup, had already been omitted for the matches by coach Lionel Scaloni.

Mexico, meanwhile, are without winger Hirving Lozano due to a hamstring problem, just one of a number of withdrawals during the final clutch of international games in 2018.

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