Mexico captain Edson Álvarez injured in Copa América opener

Mexico captain Edson Álvarez will undergo tests in the coming days after being forced off with an injury during the first half of his team’s Copa América victory over Jamaica on Saturday at the NRG Stadium in Houston.

After sprinting during a Jamaican counterattack, the West Ham midfielder suddenly hit the ground in pain, straining his left hamstring.

Álvarez had to be helped off the court due to obvious pain and was visibly distraught with his match, and potentially his tournament, ending after less than 30 minutes.

“With Edson, we’re going to wait a few days to give him an exam and find out what’s wrong with him,” Mexico coach Jaime “Jimmy” Lozano said in a post-match news conference. “Obviously, like any other player, the intention is not to risk anything. He felt something in his leg.”

In both teams’ opening match of the competition, Michail Antonio appeared to give Jamaica the lead with a close-range header in the 50th minute, but the goal was disallowed for offside following video review .

Mexico then secured a 1–0 victory, thanks to a 69th-minute Gerardo Arteaga goal from the edge of the penalty area.

“It’s not easy to recover and stay balanced after your captain left so quickly… but it seems to me that the team quickly stabilized,” Lozano added.

Speaking on Friday, Álvarez said he had “goosebumps” at the thought of captaining Mexico for the first time at a major tournament.

Álvarez is a key experienced figure in a young Mexican team undergoing a generational change under Lozano at the Copa América. Since his debut for Mexico in February 2017, only Jesús Gallardo has played more matches since El Tri than Álvarez’s 80.

He’s also played more minutes for Mexico than any other player since Lozano took over last year.

Mexico next faces Venezuela – who beat Ecuador 2-1 in the day’s other Group B match – in Inglewood, California, on Wednesday. The group concludes on June 30, when Mexico faces Ecuador in Glendale, Arizona.

Associated Press reporting contributed to this report.

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