Sanchez, Vidal fitness doubts for Chile-Uruguay
Chile manager Reinaldo Rueda has confirmed he will have to wait to make a final call on whether to risk Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal in their last game of the Copa America group stage against Uruguay.
Sanchez suffered an ankle injury during the first half of Chile's 2-1 victory over Ecuador on Friday, but the Manchester United forward decided to continue and scored the winner to send the two-time defending champions into the quarterfinals.
Monday's match against Uruguay will determine which team wins Group C, with Chile currently leading on six points and La Celeste in second on four.
Meanwhile, Vidal also picked up a knock during the game and Rueda confirmed that the participation of the duo remained uncertain, while downplaying the severity of the injuries.
"They have been in the medical department following the game [against Ecuador] and we will be able to have something clearer after we finish the training session," Rueda told a news conference on Sunday. "Let's see how they react. Maybe Alexis' [injury] is the most delicate and we have to wait for the doctor.
"This morning when I spoke with the doctor he looked very positive. Arturo's one will depend on how his muscle reacts in the coming hours.
"[Whether to risk Alexis] is something that we have to consider depending on how he reacts after the training session, what kind of demands he can handle and also what the player feels. There is also the idea of not taking risks because luckily we have already secured the qualification [for the quarterfinals].
"[We don't want] to make the injury more serious and lose him for future matches. That factor must be taken into account as we don't want to spoil Alexis' good recovery."
Rueda will also have to make a decision on the players who are one booking away from suspension, but the manager made it clear that he trusted all his players and remembered the lesson given by Liverpool when they beat Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League semifinal second leg despite having Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita all out due to injuries.
"We don't have to keep any player," he said. "If we have to change the team for the next match because of suspension we have players ready and with desire.
"Liverpool gave us a great lesson [in the Champions League]. Sometimes there are players who have a big name and without them you achieve a good result. Who made the difference and who made that team champion?"
Chile will avoid Colombia in the quarterfinals if they beat Uruguay and Rueda pointed out that securing top spot would be especially important because it will give his players an extra day to prepare for the last-8 match.
"We have to be prepared for any rival [in the quarter finals]. We cannot assess whether the rival is going to be more complicated if we are top or second. The important thing is the fixtures," Rueda stated. "If we are top, we will have four days of recovery. If we don't finish top, we will have two days of recovery.
"I hope we can win because I think it will be beneficial for the mental recovery and for the physical recovery."