Mexico midfielder Luis Montes' 2014 World Cup hopes were dealt a major blow when he suffered a gruesome leg injury in Saturday's friendly against Ecuador.
The injury occurred late in the first half, just moments after Montes put El Tri ahead with a 33rd-minute goal. He and Ecuador's Segundo Castillo both went down in pain following a strong challenge, as pointed out by Soccer by Ives creator Ives Galarcep, who noted the clear seriousness of the injury:
Ugh, Mexico’s Luis Montes with a broken leg during Mexico-Ecuador match. clear fracture. Big blow for El Tri.— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) May 31, 2014
ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman also commented on the gruesome nature of the collision:
just threw up in my mouth Montes has his right leg facing the other way OH GOD. #MEXvECU— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) May 31, 2014
Here's a look at the injury, per Bleacher Report UK featured columnist Chris Fleming (viewer discretion advised):
Mexico's Luis Montes' leg-break injury. Awful at any time, but especially so on the eve of a World Cup. https://t.co/uCxEDSmfQm— Chris Fleming (@Chris__Fleming) May 31, 2014
Kyle McCarthy of Fox Soccer confirmed the bad news regarding Montes:
Mexico press staff confirms Luis Montes has sustained suspected fractures to right fibula and tibia.— Kyle McCarthy (@kylejmccarthy) May 31, 2014
The 28-year-old Club Leon star was named to Mexico's 23-man World Cup roster in early May, but will in all likelihood miss this summer's global spectacle in Brazil following Saturday's severe injury.
Mexico manager Miguel Herrera will now have to look elsewhere for a boost in midfield.
With the World Cup less than two weeks away, Montes' injury comes at a terrible time for both player and country. Considering El Tri will be going up against hosts Brazil, Croatia and Cameroon in Group A this June, losing a talented midfield player like Montes certainly impacts their chances of survival.
If there is a positive, it's that Mexico could still be equipped to have success without Montes. He hadn't established much of a history with the Mexico national team and had only made a handful of appearances for El Tri coming into the summer, scoring two goals at last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup.
However, Herrera will have little time to find a replacement for Montes in the lineup as Mexico is set to kick off World Cup group stage play against Cameroon on June 13.