Santa Cruz out of Paraguay qualifiers

ASUNCION - Striker Roque Santa Cruz has been ruled out of Paraguay's World Cup qualifiers in Uruguay and Ecuador this month.

The Blackburn Rovers striker is suffering from tendonitis in his left knee, a team spokesman said on Friday.

The South American group leaders, on course for a fourth successive World Cup appearance, will also be without injured left back Claudio Morel Rodriguez for the two games.

Paraguay have 23 points from 10 games, six ahead of second-placed Brazil.

They visit Uruguay on March 28 and face Ecuador at high altitude in Quito four days later.