San Jose: Costa Rica defender Ronald Matarrita has been ruled out of the World Cup in Russia after he suffered right hamstring injury, and will be replaced by Kenner Gutierrez, the Costa Rican Football Federation announced Thursday.
According to the official medical report, the New York City FC player has suffered a ‘grade-one injury’ to his right hamstring, the same area where he has a history of a previous injury, the federation explained in a press release, reports Efe.
The recovery period is estimated to be at least two weeks, prompting coach Oscar Ramirez to replace him with another player, Kenner Gutierrez who plays as a defender in Costa Rican club Alajuelense.
According to the Federation, Gutierrez will join the Costa Rican national team June 16 in the Russian city of Samara ahead of his World Cup debut June 17 in a match against Serbia. Matarrita is the first player that the team has lost due to injury since the coach revealed the final squad list.
The left-back position was previously played by Bryan Oviedo of Sunderland AFC, for which Matarrita was considered an appropriate substitute and even more advanced player when it comes to an offensive game plan. Costa Rica have been clubbed alongside Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland in Group E.