Ecuador head coach Gustavo Quinteros has confirmed Antonio Valencia will miss this summer’s Copa America tournament in Chile following ankle surgery.
After the end of the season, Valencia underwent surgery to relieve ankle pain caused by screws and plates which were put in after he suffered a terrible ankle break in 2010.
The 29-year-old played a lot of football for Manchester United this season and it clearly caused him some discomfort which has now been resolved thanks to the surgery.
Speaking about Valencia, Quinteros said: “The plates or screws were causing trouble. Therefore [United] decided on an operation.
“It was urgent surgery for Antonio. I want him to be 100% in World Cup qualifying. The surgery was not something that was planned long ago.”
Valencia’s discomfort may go some way to explaining why he was so poor in attack last season but that’s probably an excuse more than anything.
His focus will now be on using the summer to recover and rehabilitate ahead of next season because when Louis van Gaal signs a new right-back which he is expected to do, then Valencia will face some stiff competition and no longer be a guaranteed starter.