Wed, 18 May 2022

ASUNCION, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Midfielder Celso Ortiz has been ruled out of Paraguay's World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil due to a back problem, the Paraguayan Football Association (APF) said on Thursday.

The 32-year-old sustained the injury in the lumbar region of the spine while playing for his club Monterrey in Mexico's Liga MX.

"Celso Ortiz will miss the games against Uruguay and Brazil, for physical-medical reasons, expressed by the player," read an APF statement.

Paraguay team doctor Osvaldo Insfran told local media the injury was not serious but said it presented too great a risk for Ortiz to play in the matches.

APF did not immediately name a replacement for the playmaker.

News of Ortiz's injury came a day after midfielder Andres Cubas also withdrew from the Paraguay squad because of a broken leg.

Paraguay will host Uruguay on January 27 before visiting Brazil five days later.

The Guaranies are currently ninth in the 10-team South American qualifying group with 13 points from 14 matches.

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