QUITO (Reuters) - Midfielder Segundo Castillo was included in Ecuador’s 23-man World Cup squad on Monday despite needing up to three weeks to recover from a knee injury he sustained at the weekend.
Coach Reinaldo Rueda, whose squad list was issued by the Ecuadorean Football Federation, considers the central midfielder, a veteran of Ecuador’s last finals in Germany in 2006, an essential part of his team.
The widely-traveled 32-year-old suffered a nasty knock on his knee in a clash in which Mexico’s Luis Montes broke a leg during a friendly in Texas on Saturday.
Rueda has opted to take 19-year-old Carlos Gruezo of VfB Stuttgart, capped twice, as extra cover in midfield in his only surprise pick.
Ecuador’s opening Group E match against Switzerland in Brasilia is on June 15 before they face Honduras on June 20 in Curitiba and France in Rio de Janeiro five days later.
Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona SC), Alexander Dominguez (LDU Quito), Adrian Bone (El Nacional)
Defenders: Frickson Erazo (Flamengo), Jorge Guagua, Oscar Bagui, Gabriel Achilier (all Emelec), Walter Ayovi (Pachuca), Juan Carlos Paredes (Barcelona SC)
Midfielders: Segundo Castillo (Al-Hilal), Carlos Gruezo (VfB Stuttgart), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse Arnhem), Cristian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow), Luis Saritama (Barcelona SC), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Edison Mendez (Independiente Santa Fe), Michael Arroyo (Atlante)
Forwards: Felipe Caicedo (Al-Jazira), Jefferson Montero (Morelia), Joao Rojas (Cruz Azul), Fidel Martinez, Jaime Ayovi (both Tijuana), Enner Valencia (Pachuca)
Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Greg Stutchbury