Los Angeles: Brazil’s Copa America injury crisis deepened on Wednesday after veteran striker Kaka withdrew from the squad with a hamstring injury three days before the team’s tournament opener against Ecuador.
The 34-year-old Orlando City attacking midfielder had been looking forward to competing in his first Copa America but saw his dream dashed after suffering an injury at Brazil’s Los Angeles training base.
“Kaka has had discomfort in training and safety will be auditioned MRI, which showed a small problem. Doctors indicate between 15 and 20 days of recovery,” said Brazilian Football Confederation official Gilmar Rinaldi.
The former FIFA World Player of the Year will be replaced by Sao Paulo’s Paulo Henrique Ganso. Brazilian officials have already spoken to Sao Paulo to secure Ganso’s participation and are awaiting formal clearance from CONMEBOL.
Kaka’s injury ends his hopes of participating in the Copa America for the first time.
Meanwhile, midfielder Luiz Gustavo became the sixth player to withdraw from the squad, citing “personal problems.”
Wallace of the Brazilian side Gremio has replaced Luiz Gustavo.
Other players ruled out because of injury include Ricardo Oliveira Santos, replaced by Jonas, goalkeeper Ederson and Barcelona midfielder Rafinha.
Brazil open their Copa America Centenario campaign against Ecuador at the Pasadena Rose Bowl tomorrow.