JOHANNESBURG - Switzerland captain Alex Frei and midfielder Valon Behrami have been ruled out of their opening World Cup Group H game against Spain on Wednesday, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said on Monday. Frei and Behrami failed to recover from ankle and thigh injuries respectively.
"They will not play on Wednesday," Hitzfeld said on the Swiss federation website..
"The aim is that they come back for the second match against Chile," Hitzfeld said before the team departed for Durban and their clash with the European champions.
Hitzfeld said he was optimistic about Behrami's recovery and rejected suggestions that the tournament could be over for Frei, 30, adding that both players should be able to resume full training with the squad on Thursday.
"I'm really counting on him (Frei) for Monday," Hitzfeld said, referring to Switzerland's second game against Chile.