Alphonso Davies to miss Canada’s World Cup qualifier in Hamilton due to myocarditis after COVID-19 bout

Published January 14, 2022 at 3:25 pm

Canada's Alphonso Davies eyes the ball against Panama during second half World Cup qualifying action in Toronto. (Chris Young/CP)

Alphonso Davies’ return from a bout of COVID-19 has been put on hold with Bayern Munich saying the Canadian star shows signs of an inflammation of the heart muscle.

Canada Soccer says the 21-year-old from Edmonton has been ruled out of Canada’s three World Cup qualifiers in the FIFA international window that straddles January and February — meaning fans in Hamilton will not get to watch the most electrifying soccer player the country has ever seen when Canada takes on the United States at Tim Hortons Field on Jan. 30.

Canada is also scheduled to play World Cup qualifiers in Honduras (Jan. 27) and in El Salvador (Feb. 2).

Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann told a pre-match news conference Friday (Jan. 14) that the problem was detected in the follow-up examination that all players who have had COVID undergo.

“He’ll sit out training until further notice. He won’t be available, also in the coming weeks,” Nagelsmann said in German.

“The ultrasound shows this myocarditis isn’t so dramatic but it’s a sign of myocarditis. Still, it has to heal and that will definitely take some time,” he added.

Myocarditis is a mild, temporary condition in the vast majority of cases, according to experts.

Asked if the myocarditis was due to COVID, Nagelsmann said it’s hard to tell.

“There are different reasons, especially viral load or the flu, for instance, that can cause cardiac problems,” he said through an interpreter.

“That occurred pre-corona to other players. Now the probability is higher if you combine corona and top athleticism, that might cause other problems. But that’s not relevant for us right now. It’s not relevant to the treatment. It doesn’t matter if Alphonso Davies had this from the flu or Omicron-Delta or whatever. That’s not really the decisive factor.

“The situation is that it’s absolutely awful, terrible. What can I say? A bad situation for us.”

Bayern said last week that Davies had tested positive and was feeling well while isolating at home. He was one of six Bayern players who returned to training Wednesday after COVID bouts.

Davies has won 35 caps for Canada with 10 goals and 15 assists.

Viewed as one of the finest left backs in the world due to his pace and attacking flair, he plays in a more offensive position for Canada.

The Canadian men, bidding to qualify for the World Cup for only the second time ever, currently top the final round of qualifying in CONCACAF with a 4-0-4 record. They have six games remaining.

Come March, the top three teams in the eight-team round robin will represent North and Central America and the Caribbean at Qatar 2022. The fourth-place team will take on an Oceania country in an intercontinental playoff to see who joins them.

A depleted Bayern lost to 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach on Jan. 7 following the winter break, but still tops the German table at 14-3-1.


-with files from The Canadian Press

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