Chile’s Vidal unlikely to play full match against Japan

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Santiago, Sep 5 (IANS) Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal has said that even though he has fully recovered from his knee injury, he needs to take it slow, rendering him unlikely to play the full 90-minute friendly against Japan in Sapporo.

“I’m fine,” he told Chilean reporters upon his arrival in the Asian country on Tuesday, reports EFE news agency.

“I’ve said it: ever since I arrived in Barcelona, I’m physically very well.”

The Barcelona midfielder said that he must be extra careful with his knee after the injury he sustained last April, which required him to undergo surgery.

Vidal — who has been healing at a constant rate — has enjoyed brief participations on the field as a substitute, but has not played a full match.

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He said he was happy to return to the national team after watching last spring’s international friendlies from the stands or on television.

Defender Gary Medel was also called up to join the Chilean team for the match in Sapporo, and said that the two friendlies that the squad is set to play in Asia are good training ahead of the 2019 Copa America championship in Brazil and the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

After Friday’s match in Japan, Chile is set to go against South Korea in the September 11 friendly.

–IANS

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