Chile's World Cup hopes lie heavily on the shoulders of star Arturo Vidal -- but those hopes have taken a hit with his knee injury.
Vidal underwent knee surgery in early May to repair a meniscus, although reports at the time said Vidal would return for the World Cup. However, a surprise 15-minute appearance in a friendly against Northern Ireland last week might have cost Vidal that expected timetable.
Vidal didn't train with Chile on Monday, and reports indicate he could miss the opening match against Australia -- and perhaps longer after aggravating his injury in the friendly.
"We will have to wait to see if you can play in these games," midfielder Marcelo Diaz said at a press conference. "Vidal is one of the best players in the world, he is very valuable and anyone would like to have him. But it's not just one player who will carry the team, it is all of us."
Vidal is perhaps the best all-around midfielder in the world and especially in this competition. He is capable of making an impact on the defensive side of he pitch, while also igniting the attack through distribution. Moreover, he's improved his goal-scoring rate this season at Juventus, finding the back of the net on 11 occasions.
“It's a tough situation. If it was me, I maybe would have wanted to play as well to see how well I was going,” Diaz said of the risky move to play in the friendly. “You want to test yourself in a competitive match. It's a decision you make at that moment.”
Chile's high-pressure, direct system is one of the main reasons they are considered a sleeper in the World Cup. However, in a group with Spain and the Netherlands, much of that hinges on Vidal.