Luis Suarez has tested positive a second time for coronavirus and will be unable to take the field against former club Barcelona at the weekend.
But prior to the second November World Cup qualifier in the CONMEBOL region the striker returned a positive Covid-19 result alongside left-back Matias Vinas, ruling him out of contention for Tuesday’s crunch match in Montevideo at home to Brazil.
In Suarez’s absence Brazil cruised to a 2-0 win, with goals in the first half from Arthur and Richarlison sealing the hosts’ fate.
There had been some hope that Suarez’s result was a false positive, and that further testing would see him cleared of having caught the pandemic virus.
The forward tested positive on Monday but showed no symptoms for the following 48 hours.
A second test carried out on Wednesday, however, confirmed that he remains infected, ruling him out of both Saturday’s Liga clash and Atletico’s subsequent Champions League meeting with Lokomotiv Moscow midweek.
The result robs Suarez of the chance to face his ex-employers for the first time since moving across La Liga at the start of the 2020-21 season, having been declared surplus to requirements by new Barca coach Ronald Koeman.
It also means there will be no reunion between the Uruguayan and close friend Lionel Messi, who struck up a warm relationship on and off the field with his strike partner over the years, with the pair sharing numerous holidays alongside their families.
Also on Wednesday, the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) revealed that seven further members of their World Cup qualifying camp, including two players, had tested positive.
Rentistas defender Alexis Rolin and Los Angeles FC striker Diego Rossi were the affected players, both of whom were non-playing substitutes the previous evening as the Celeste went down to Brazil.