Canada national team and Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies is doubtful to start in his nation’s first World Cup match in 36 years. The 22-year-old is under an injury cloud and is ‘more and more likely’ to miss Canada’s opening game vs. Belgium on Wednesday.
Its right back has been dealing with a lingering hamstring strain which caused him to leave the pitch as an enforced substitute during Bayern’s 3-2 win over Hertha Berlin on November 5. Per The Athletic, Davies joined up with the national team Friday, five days after most of his European-based brethren.
While his absence will leave an enormous hole, Canada coach John Herdman believes his nation still have enough to compete if he’s incapable of playing. ‘We’ve been able to perform when Alphonso has been out of the team,’ Herdman said Saturday.
‘It’s not something I’m losing sleep over. As a coach, you’re always in these moments, rolling the dice. ‘We’ve got to get this one right because it could be a long tournament for Canada. And the last thing I want is for Alphonso to miss this.’
While there may be external eagerness to see Davies involved in The Maple Leafs’, Herdman and company are taking a longer-term view to his recovery. ‘We told [FC Bayern] we don’t want to risk Alphonso. This is three games we’ve got to get him ready for.
‘If he’s not ready for the first one, we don’t want to risk it. It’s one of those situations.’ It is more likely Davies gets his first taste of World Cup action against Croatia in the Canadians’ second group game on November 27.