Canada will be without its best player for the next three FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.
Following a bout with COVID-19, Bayern Munich’s doctors detected signs of mild myocarditis in Alphonso Davies. He’s sitting out training “until further notice” for the German club team, and won’t be available in the coming weeks, Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann announced at a press conference today.
“With Phonzy, when we did our follow-up examination yesterday that we do with every player that has had COVID-19, we detected signs of mild myocarditis, i.e., an inflammation of the heart muscle,” said Nagelsmann.
Davies tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, with Bayern making the announcement on January 5.
“He’ll sit out training until further notice. He won’t be available, also in the coming weeks. The ultrasound shows this myocarditis isn’t so dramatic but it’s a sign of myocarditis. Still, it has to heal and that will definitely take some time.”
The timing is terrible for the Canadian men’s national soccer team, which sits in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, but has three crucial matches coming up beginning in less than two weeks.
Soccer Canada has confirmed that Davies will miss all three of the national team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers, in Honduras on January 27, against USA in Hamilton on January 30, and in El Salvador on February 2.
There are just six matches left each in the final stage of World Cup qualifying for the eight remaining countries in CONCACAF. Canada is the only country that hasn’t lost a match yet, posting four wins and four draws in eight matches.
Canada is looking to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the second time ever, and for the first time since 1986. The national team hasn’t even come close to qualifying for the World Cup in over two decades.
The top three countries in CONCACAF earn an automatic berth into the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, while the fourth place team advances to an intercontinental playoff.