Valencia suffers ankle scare with Ecuador
The 25-year-old was forced off at half-time during Ecuador's goalless draw with Paraguay on Sunday after spraining the same ankle that he both fractured and dislocated in a Champions League match against Rangers last September, keeping him out for six months.
Speaking to reporters after the stalemate in Santa Fe, Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda said he felt the Red Devils' winger had been on the receiving end of several robust challenges, leading to his premature withdrawal, and called on referees to provide more protection for the players.
"The referees must take care of this situation because it [the injury] happened in the first half and [Antonio] was no longer the same," he said.
"He could not stand or walk on it and we had to make a change. It's a shame because we all know the process he went through to be here.”