RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil winger Vinicius Júnior will not play the two opening matches of World Cup qualifying next month because of a right hamstring injury, the country's soccer confederation said Tuesday.
Real Madrid had estimated that the 23-year-old Vinicius, injured in the team’s 1-0 victory at Celta Vigo in the Spanish league, could be sidelined for about a month.
Brazil plays Bolivia on Sept. 8 and Peru four days later.
Raphinha was chosen as his replacement. He last played for Brazil's national team during the World Cup in Qatar. The 26-year-old winger has five goals in 16 appearances for the national team.
The two matches will mark the start of coach Fernando Diniz in charge of Brazil.
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The Associated Press