Rio de Janeiro, March 17 (IANS) Brazilian national football team coach Tite has turned to left-back Alex Sandro to fill in for the injured Filipe Luis in the side’s upcoming friendlies against Russia and Germany.
The substitution was announced on Friday, a few hours after Luis underwent a successful surgery to repair a fractured fibula on his left leg, reports Efe.
The Atletico Madrid defender, who was injured on Thursday in a Europa League match against Lokomotiv Moscow, is expected to be out for eight weeks.
Brazilian media suggest Filipe Luis is at risk of not making the roster for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as he will return to practice in mid-May, just a few weeks before the start of the championship.
Tite had acknowledged that he was doubtful who would take the left back position in defining the final roster for the 2018 World Cup and that he is yet to decide on Luis or Sandro (Juventus) to serve as back-up for usual starter Marcelo (Real Madrid).
Marcelo and Luis were both on the list which Tite announced on Monday.
The friendly match against Russia on March 23 and the one against Germany four days later are the last games in preparation for the World Cup before Tite announces the final roster.
The coach intends to take advantage of the visits to the upcoming championship’s host country and matches against the 2014 World Cup champion to see how his team fares without top striker Neymar, who is also recovering from surgery.