Injured Fred in doubt for all-Brazilian Libertadores clash

Rio de Janeiro, April 7 (IANS) Brazil striker Fred is in danger of missing Fluminense’s Copa Libertadores clash against Gremio Wednesday due to a knee injury.

The 29-year-old was carried off the pitch after landing awkwardly during the first half of Fluminense’s 2-0 victory over Resende in the Campeonato Carioca Saturday, reports Xinhua.

The club’s doctor, Arthur Nogueira, said Fred would undergo scans Sunday to determine the extent of the injury.

Fluminense coach Abel Braga admitted he could be forced to call up 19-year-old striker Michael for the match against their Brazilian rivals in Porto Alegre.

“We have to wait and see how serious the injury is before we can comment on what will happen, but I have complete confidence in the squad,” Braga said.

“I’m not afraid to use young players if necessary. If they have to play, they will play.”

Michael, who replaced Fred as an eighth-minute substitute Saturday, has now scored four goals in his first two matches for the Rio de Janeiro club.

“It was great to score but unfortunately I only came on because Fred was injured,” Michael said. “Hopefully he can recover quickly.”

Fluminense are second in their Copa Libertadores group, one point ahead of Gremio with two matches remaining before the knockout phase.

The top two teams from each group will progress to the tournament’s round of 16.

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