Alexis Sanchez ruled out for Chile’s opener against Cameroon

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Chile enters the Confederations Cup among the favorites to win the eight-team tournament, but the South American champions will have to do so without the nation’s biggest star.

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At least for the team’s first match.

The defending Copa America champions will be without Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez on Sunday when Chile takes on Cameroon to open up their Confederations Cup account after the 28-year-old suffered an ankle injury in training.

“Alexis had some health troubles a couple of days ago and, on Friday, we decided we would let him rest,” said manager Juan Antonio Pizzi.

“We will introduce him slowly so he can maybe join us later. He’s still recovering, he’s maybe not ready yet but we will wait until Sunday to see what’s best for him and what’s best for the team considering it’s the first game.”

Meanwhile, Sanchez isn’t the only big casualty for Chile when they kick off play in Russia. Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is likely out as well for the opener after sustaining a calf injury back in Premier League play with club side Manchester City.

Chile will face Germany and Australia to round out Group B play following Sunday’s opening match.