Canada defender Alphonso Davies (19) and United States' Miles Robinson (12) battle for the ball during the first half of a World Cup soccer qualifier Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Humphrey

Alphonso Davies injury considered minor, Canadian star returns to training with club

Alphonso Davies injury considered minor, Canadian star returns to training with club

Alphonso Davies, who missed Canada’s World Cup qualifying win over El Salvador in Toronto on Wednesday, returned to training with Bayern Munich on Thursday.

“He took a knock on his knee. He’s in good shape, feels well and trained today. We expect him to be available on Saturday,” said Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

Bayern plays at RB Leipzig on Saturday.

Davies looked in pain when he left Sunday’s 1-1 tie with the U.S. in the 75th minute and was immediately greeted by trainers when he got to the bench. He seemed to be favouring a leg and was absent from the Canada training session Tuesday.

Canada Soccer said Tuesday evening that the 20-year-old fullback/winger was injured and flying back to Germany “to continue his recovery.” It did not detail the injury.

Davies has proved to be the Canadian team’s talisman, threatening opposition teams with his speed and guile.

His assist on Cyle Larin’s tying goal in the 62nd minute of the game in Nashville was his record-breaking sixth in 2021. He had shared the previous Canadian men’s record with Martin Nash (2000).

Davies was also hurt with Canada in July, suffering a torn ligament in his ankle in training prior to the Gold Cup. At the time, coach John Herdman said Davies turned his ankle after riding a tackle in a small-sided game.

Davies returned to full team practice with Bayern on Aug. 9 and started in the season opener Aug. 13 against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Canada’s next World Cup qualifying games are next month — away to No. 9 Mexico and No. 50 Jamaica, and at home to No. 74 Panama.

The 59th-ranked Canadian men defeated No. 64 El Salvador 3-0. Star striker Cyle Larin, who plays in Turkey for Besiktas, also sat out the game with what Herdman called a sore quad.

Canada (1-0-2) is second in the Octagonal standings with five points, two behind Mexico (2-0-1). The U.S. (1-0-2) and Panama (1-0-2) also have five points.

Each of the eight teams involved plays 14 games in the qualifying round robin. Come March, the top three will book their ticket to Qatar 2022. The fourth-place finisher will take part in an intercontinental playoff to see who joins them.

Canada has reached the final round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean for the first time since the leadup to France ‘98. The Canadian men have only ever qualified for the World Cup once, in 1986.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept, 9, 2021

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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