Argentina's striker Carlos Tevez has been ruled out of the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers after spraining his left knee.

JUAN MABROMATA AFP

The striker has joined Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Ezequiel Garay on the sidelines as the Albiceleste prepare to face Brazil and Colombia.

Carlos Tevez has been ruled out of Argentina's upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers after spraining his left knee. The Albiceleste face Brazil in a crunch clash on Thursday but will do so without the Boca Juniors star and two of their other star forwards. Lionel Messi remains on the sidelines with a knee injury, while Sergio Aguero is continuing his recovery from a torn hamstring.

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Tevez's absence, which had been widely expected as he struggled with fitness over the last weeks of the season, was confirmed on Tuesday by the Argentine FA. "The forward is carrying a muscle strain and a sprain in his left knee and as a result will not start in either of the two next qualifiers," a statement confirmed.

The statement added: "Carlitos, who was present yesterday in training but did not carry out any activities, was once more at the Julio Humberto Grondona complex but again did not participate in exercises. He left the squad to continue recovery in his club, Boca."

Argentina have picked up just a single point from their opening two World Cup qualifiers, while Brazil have three, meaning the game carries even greater importance for the rival nations.

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