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Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2017

Alexis Sanchez will reportedly be fit to play for Chile against Argentina on Thursday after being withdrawn with an ankle injury during Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had said the player’s ankle was in an “absolutely terrible state” after the match.

Chilean outlet El Grafico brought news of the 28-year-old’s status, per injury data analyst Ben Dinnery:

As noted by Goal’s Iain Strachan, Sanchez was on the receiving end of a strong tackle from Baggies winger James McClean in the Premier League encounter.

Per Chris Wheatley of the same outlet, the Frenchman elaborated on the forward’s condition after he had to be substituted 12 minutes from time at the Hawthorns:

Sanchez has been Arsenal’s best player this season and netted his 22nd goal of the campaign in the defeat. He’s also a key performer for Chile—it will be an almighty relief for both parties if his injury isn’t as bad as initially feared.

The Gunners are now sixth in the Premier League and six points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

Arsenal could make up that deficit if they win their two games in hand, but they need a sustained run of wins between now and the end of the season if they’re to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, as they also have to contend with Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur as well as the Reds.

As for Chile, they need a positive result against La Albiceleste in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Buenos Aires in order to keep Edgardo Bauza’s men—who are one point behind them—from replacing them in the fourth and final automatic qualification place.

If Sanchez does face Argentina, Gunners supporters will need to hope he’s not being pressed back into action too soon, as they can ill afford him to be injured upon his return to club duty after the international break.

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