Sanchez could still play against Uruguay, says Sampaoli

Chile forward Alexis Sanchez could play against Uruguay despite a calf strain, according to head coach Jorge Sampaoli.

Chile head coach Jorge Sampaoli says Alexis Sanchez could still play a part in his nation's next World Cup qualifier, despite struggling with a calf problem.

The Arsenal forward played the full 90 minutes of Chile's 1-1 draw with Colombia on Thursday, but later complained of pain in his leg, putting his involvement against Uruguay on Tuesday in doubt.

However, Sampaoli has revealed the 26-year-old may play at the Estadio Centenario if he shows an improvement in his fitness.

"Alexis had pain in his calf and we will wait for him until the last minute to see if he is ready to play," the Chile boss said on Monday.

Chile sit second in World Cup qualifying, unbeaten in three matches.

Sampaoli is confident of making the World Cup in Russia, despite his side dropping points against Colombia.

"I am proud to direct this group of footballers, and I hope I can keep doing so," he said.

"The leaders of the group are the ones who give me most hope and it is the hunger and commitment to the shirt which these players have which most binds me to the hope of another World Cup. 

"We probably will not be able to win each and every game, or always play to our best, but wherever we are we will defend this shirt to the maximum."