Key midfielder Matias Fernandez will miss Chile's World Cup journey after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle.
Luis Hidalgo/AP

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Chilean midfielder Matias Fernandez needs surgery on his right ankle and will miss the World Cup, another injury blow for the talented South Americans.

Fernandez told reporters on Tuesday he would be unable to play in Brazil in three weeks. He said the ankle pain had been there for a long time, and only immediate surgery would fix the problem.

Another key midfielder, Arturo Vidal of Italian club Juventus, recently underwent right-knee surgery and is uncertain to make the World Cup. However, team doctors at Juventus have said they are confident he will play.

Chile plays its first match on June 13 against Australia. It also faces reigning world and European champion Spain, as well as the Netherlands in Group B.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.