Juan Carlos Osorio and Mexico have been hit with their second injury of the week with Toluca midfielder, Carlos Esquivel, being ruled out of Mexico’s opening World Cup Qualifying games against El Salvador and Honduras after increasing an injury during El Tri’s second training session of the day.
Paul Aguilar had already been dropped by Mexico when he got hurt during his club match over the weekend and was replaced by Raul Lopez,who earned his first senior call up.
During Monday’s training session Esquivel picked up a slight left muscle injury, but the doctors and the team felt like he was still able to go and finished the rest of the practice.
Tuesday’s morning practice Esquivel was able to participate without any problems, but during the second practice the pain returned and the veteran midfielder had to leave the practice. It was determined the best course of action was to drop Esquivel and let the left muscle injury heal completely and not risk it getting worse.
Esquivel will now return to his club team Toluca to heal and with only three days until Mexico faces El Salvador, Osorio has decided not to call up a new player and will go with the 24 he has on hand to open qualification.
Esquivel isn’t the most high profile player on the roster, and at 33 years old, is a long shot to sniff making the roster for the 2018 World Cup if Mexico was to make it since he will be 36 by that time. Heck he might not even be playing professional soccer by that time, but he was a constant call up over the past few months for Miguel Herrera during his time with El Tri, and time and time again he passed expectations for Mexico and delivered on the field. During the Gold Cup over the summer, he appeared in four of Mexico’s six games. When Ricardo Ferretti took over during his interim stint some thought that would be the end of Esquivel with El Tri. Yet, his fine form with his club team Toluca saw Ferretti also call Esquivel with his two roster releases the last two months, and he even notched a goal against Trinidad and Tobago in the September friendly match-up.
Esquivel must now watch El Tri from afar and hope and see if he can earn another call up during the March international date, and Mexico will need to prepare without their underrated grizzly vet.