Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia had good reason to fear the worst – as did Sir Alex Ferguson - when the Ecuadorian was felled against Paraguay at the Copa America.
Valencia suffered a broken left ankle following an innocuous challenge against Rangers in the Champions League last season and spent six months on the sidelines as United romped to the Premier League title.
On Sunday, it was feared that lighting had struck twice, and that Valencia had been unlucky once again as he took another nasty blow to the same leg.
But after examination it turns out the tackle resulted in only bruising for the 25-year-old, meaning he'll miss just one game in the group stage.
Tony Ocampo, Ecuador’s team doctor, said: "His opponent stepped on his foot and very nearly fractured it again.
"He has a bruise on the spot where he has a titanium plate, he couldn’t put his weight on his foot, but the swelling has gone down about 40 per cent since Sunday. He won’t make it for Saturday but he’ll be there for Brazil on July 13.”
Despite missing six months of the season, Valencia turned out 20 times for United, including in the Champions League final against Barcelona at Wembley.
Valencia's fitness for United next season will be vital if he is to stake a claim for a first team spot with United's winger trio of Nani, Ji-Sung Park and Ashley Young.
(PA Pic Ref: Antonio Valencia - 10652718
(caption) Docs say Antonio could have fractured the same foot.
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