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 By Tom Marshall

Andres Guardado, Carlos Vela, Carlos Salcedo ruled out of Panama match

PANAMA CITY -- Mexico earned three valuable points against the United States on Friday to open the hexagonal stage of CONCACAF's World Cup qualifying in Columbus, Ohio, but El Tri will be without three key players for next Tuesday's visit to Panama.

Midfielder Andres Guardado was substituted in the 28th minute of the 2-1 victory over the Stars and Stripes and, after conducting tests, the national team announced on Saturday that the PSV player had a hamstring problem and is set to be out of action for around four weeks.

That wasn't the only negative for coach Juan Carlos Osorio on Saturday, with Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela -- who started against the United States -- returning to Spain for the birth of his first child.

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There was also the news that Fiorentina defender Carlos Salcedo was given permission to travel to his hometown of Guadalajara to sort out some personal matters. From there he'll go directly back to Italy in time for the resumption of Serie A. Salcedo was suspended following the match against the U.S. after receiving two yellow cards.

The Mexico squad had an afternoon off to spend with their families on Saturday and will train Sunday morning before heading to Panama on Sunday evening.

Los Canaleros are also coming into the game with three points, having defeated Honduras 1-0 away on Friday.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.

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