Arturo Vidal not expected to play against Australia

Alex Grimm

Chile's biggest star didn't train on Monday and is not expected to be fit in time for their World Cup opener.

Chile looks to be without their biggest star for their World Cup opener, and they're hoping that's the only game he misses. Midfielder Arturo Vidal did not train on Monday, instead watching the session in street clothes. According to CONMEBOL.com, Vidal is unlikely to play in Chile's match against Australia on Friday.

Vidal had an operation on the meniscus in his right knee in early May and was always going to be in a race to get fit for the World Cup. Surprisingly, he played 15 minutes in a friendly against Northern Ireland over the weekend, but that run-out reportedly led to swelling in his right knee, delaying his recovery.

Without Vidal available, Chile might have to alter their strategy considerably. Manager Jorge Sampaoli has other quality midfielders at his disposal, but none as complete and versatile as Vidal. Expect to see a midfield of Marcelo Diaz, Charles Aranguiz and Jorge Valdivia on Friday, providing significantly less athleticism and defensive prowess than a midfield including Vidal would have.

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