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Vinicius Junior doubtful for Brazil versus Argentina showdown with hamstring injury

Vinicius Junior is doubtful for Brazil’s 2026 World Cup qualification showdown with Argentina next week after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury in Thursday’s 2-1 defeat against Colombia.

The Real Madrid winger, who was sidelined for a month earlier this season after sustaining the initial injury in August, limped out of Thursday’s match after just 27 minutes.

Vinicius appeared to be holding his hamstring when he was replaced by Brighton and Hove Albion’s Joao Pedro, having teed up Gabriel Martinelli’s early opener for the Selecao.

The 23-year-old was then forced to watch from the sidelines as Colombia’s Luis Diaz turned the game around with a late double on his first international appearance since his parents were kidnapped – and subsequently released – by the ELN guerrilla group.

Having only won two of their opening five games in CONMEBOL’s qualification group, Brazil need to bounce back against old rivals Argentina on Tuesday, but they may have to do so without Vinicius.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Vinicius said: “It’s the same injury as last time, I had a bump and felt it a little later on. Tomorrow I’m going to do tests and see how it goes.”

Asked whether he will be available when the world champions visit the Maracana, he said: “I think it’s difficult from what the doctors said. We’re going to try everything.”

Brazil currently sit fifth in the 10-team South American qualification group, five points adrift of leaders Argentina, who suffered their first defeat of the campaign against Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay on Thursday.

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