Brazil team officials confirmed Saturday that striker Gabriel Jesus did not sustain a serious injury, after undergoing precautionary tests at a Melbourne hospital. Jesus was taken off the field by stretcher late in Friday night’s 1-0 friendly loss to Argentina after being hit by an errant elbow during an aerial challenge with Manchester City teammate Nicolas Otamendi.
Coach Tite had been concerned the 20-year-old Jesus had sustained a facial injury that might keep him out of Tuesday’s friendly with Australia, also in Melbourne.
But Brazil’s team coordinator and former Arsenal midfielder Edu Gaspar said that Jesus had been given the all-clear.
“Jesus is fine,” Edu told Australian Associated Press. “I spoke to the doctor, he said he is OK. He already did the exam to see if it (his jaw) is broken or not but nothing has happened.”
Edu clarified coach Tite’s comments that Jesus had very briefly fallen unconscious, saying he had just felt very dizzy from the blow.
Jesus was a constant threat before 95,569 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but missed Brazil’s best chance to clinch an equalizer, striking the post in front of an open goal.
Defender Gabriel Mercado’s goal on the stroke of halftime helped end Tite’s undefeated record since taking the job 12 months ago, and give new Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli a winning debut.
Top-ranked Brazil, playing Friday without captain Neymar, had won nine matches in a row, while No. 2 Argentina had lost three of its last five matches in a stuttering World Cup qualifying campaign. Lionel Messi played the entire game for Argentina.