CONCACAF Hexagonal runner-up Costa Rica will be missing a key component of its lineup this summer in Brazil.
Everton fullback Bryan Oviedo, who broke his leg in gruesome fashion in an FA Cup match against Stevenage in January, will not recover in time for this summer's World Cup, the Costa Rican federation has announced.
Oviedo, 24, started nine matches for Costa Rica during World Cup qualifying and offers a dynamic element up the flank, as evidenced by his showing in Costa Rica's 3-1 win over the USA in their Hex match in September. He had emerged as a regular for Everton manager Roberto Martinez prior to his injury, and even though reports suggested that he was on track to return in time for the World Cup, that will not be the case.
In nine league games (eight starts), Oviedo scored two goals for Everton this season, including a match-winner at Old Trafford in December to beat Manchester United.
The news leaves Costa Rica shorthanded in a difficult group that features Italy, Uruguay and England. Los Ticos have not released a roster -- neither preliminary nor final -- for the World Cup yet, though the New York Red Bulls announced that Costa Rican fullback Roy Miller would be departing the club after Saturday's match against Chicago to join his national team.
Among the others expected to be on the roster are Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio, Olympiakos star Joel Campbell, PSV's Bryan Ruiz and Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas.