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Team Canada will be without its biggest star for the final round of World Cup qualifiers.
Alphonso Davies, who suffered "a slight myocarditis" after contracting COVID-19, won't play in Canada's three upcoming games, including a marquee matchup against the United States on Jan. 30, the team announced on Friday. He will also miss matches against Honduras and El Salvador, slated for Jan. 27 and Feb. 2, respectively.
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) January 14, 2022
Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann announced Davies's condition on Friday, saying that he would be unavailable "for the next few weeks," since his heart muscles need time to heal.
“This myocarditis isn’t too dramatic based on the ultrasound, but more simply signs of an inflammation," Nagelsmann told reporters. "Nevertheless, it needs to heal and that will no doubt take some time.”
Davies tested positive for COVID-19, along with eight other teammates, earlier in January when the Bundesliga returned from its holiday break. Following his isolation period, the left back returned to Bayern's training facilities on Thursday, when the team's post-COVID medical checks revealed his heart inflammation.
Nagelsmann didn't confirm that Davies's issues stemmed directly from his bout with COVID-19.
"The fact is he has it," the Bayern manager said when asked about a possible correlation between the illness and Davies's current condition.
The 21-year-old Davies has appeared in 16 matches for Bayern in this season of Bundesliga, recording three assists. For Team Canada, he's had five goals in 13 World Cup qualifying matches.
Canada enters the final round of the CONCACAF qualifying at the top of standings with 16 points, one more than the U.S. and two more than Mexico and Panama. The final and crucial match between Canada and the U.S. will happen at Tim Hortons Field, in Hamilton, Ont., at the end of the month.
The Canadian men's team hasn't played in a World Cup since 1986 in Mexico. Returning to the competition in 2026, when the U.S., Mexico and Canada are slated to jointly host the event would be a special feat.
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