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Mexico defender Nestor Araujo to miss World Cup with injury

Mexico v New Zealand: Group A - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Mexico’s official Twitter feed announced early on Wednesday that Santos Laguna’s Nestor Araujo will miss this summer’s World Cup. The 26-year-old center back was unable to recover from an injury sustained in a friendly vs. Croatia back in March.

Tigres’s Hugo Ayala is now one of the frontrunners for the starting position, while the news also means that Oswaldo Alanis of Getafe will likely make the final 23-man roster ahead of the June 4 deadline. The other center backs in the list include Diego Reyes, Hector Moreno, Carlos Salcedo, and Edson Alvarez.

Araujo’s absence will, no doubt, come as a big blow to coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who made the Santos defender one of his men of confidence throughout the 2018 World Cup process.

Araujo has made 24 career appearances with the Mexico national team, scoring three goals. He also won a gold medal with El Tri in the London 2012 Summer Olympics.