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Knee injury ends Lozano’s club season; Gold Cup in doubt

PSV v ADO Den Haag - Eredivisie

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 21: Hirving Lozano of PSV looks on during the Eredivisie match between PSV and ADO Den Haag at Philips Stadion on April 21, 2019 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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Hirving Lozano will miss the final two matches of PSV Eindhoven’s domestic campaign thanks to a knee injury, leaving his status for the Gold Cup in serious doubt.

The electric Mexican playmaker, who carried the national team through the 2018 World Cup, left the field on a stretcher in the 83rd minute of PSV’s 3-0 win over Willem on Thursday in visible pain. While there were initial fears that Lozano had suffered damage to his ACL, the club confirmed that was not the case.

“I am relieved that there is no damage to my cruciate ligament,” Lozano said in a statement released by the club on Monday, “but it is of course very disappointing that I will no longer be on the pitch in the decisive phase of the competition. My rehabilitation has started. I am going to do everything to be in top condition as soon as possible.”

Lozano’s injury is a massive loss for PSV as the club is level on points with Ajax at the top of the Eredivisie table, in second only on goal differential thanks to Ajax’s otherworldly goalscoring this season, having netted a stunning 111 times in league play to PSV’s 95. The 23-year-old Mexican has scored 17 goals and assisted 11 others this season in league play.

“Chucky” has emerged as a key figure in the Mexican national team as well, and anything keeping him off the field would represent a significant blow to their Gold Cup prospects. Of Mexico’s three goals scored in the World Cup last summer, Lozano scored one - the winner against Germany - and assisted another. He has been in and out of the rotation since, but like the United States’ Christian Pulisic, he has only been absent to get rest between competitive events and allow the national team to experiment with other fringe options. He scored Mexico’s third and final goal in a 3-1 win over Chile in his last appearance for the national team in late March.

While there is no word on the severity of Lozano’s knee injury, it is possible that - like Manchester United announced for Eric Bailly earlier in the day - he may have suffered MCL damage, which typically requires around six weeks recovery. That would leave Lozano fit to return around mid-June. The Gold Cup begins on June 15, with Mexico opening against Cuba in group stage play.

It is also possible that Lozano has played his last game for PSV, with rumors abound that he will be heavily sought after in this summer’s transfer market.

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