(Reuters) -Canada named Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies in their squad for the World Cup on Sunday, easing concerns over whether the fullback would be fit for Qatar after picking up an injury.
While Davies's name was part of John Herdman's 26-man squad, the Canada coach was forced into a difficult decision, ruling out Doneil Henry after the veteran defender picked up an injury in the warmup for last Friday's friendly against Bahrain.
"The medical team assessed him and it wasn't great news to be fair, the timing of his return was going to take anything up to 14 days," said Herdman, in a conference call from Doha.
"Doneil put the team first, we could have tried to return him to play and had him later on in the tournament but he knew it was the right decision to make.
"It really shows the courage and what this brotherhood is about when a man can surrender his shirt and take that step forward to support the team in a different role."
Canada have been hit by injuries in the run up to Qatar, losing defender Scott Kennedy to a shoulder issue and goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, who suffered a broken leg in the MLS Cup final.
But fears that Davies, Canada's most dynamic player, might miss the World Cup after picking up a hamstring injury have subsided.
The 22-year-old missed Bayern's last two Bundesliga games after sustaining the injury earlier this month.
Davies has played 34 times and scored 12 goals for Canada, who are returning to the World Cup for the first time in 36 years.
"A kid born in a refugee camp wasn’t supposed to make it! But here we are GOING TO THE WORLD CUP. Don’t let no one tell you that your dreams are unrealistic. KEEP DREAMING, KEEP ACHIEVING!," tweeted Davies after the squad was announced.
Canada are in Group F with Belgium, Morocco and Croatia.
Herdman's side begin their campaign against the Belgians on Nov. 23.
Goalkeepers: James Pantemis, Milan Borjan, Dayne St Clair
Defenders: Samuel Adekugbe, Joel Waterman, Alistair Johnston, Richie Laryea, Kamal Miller, Steven Vitoria, Derek Cornelius
Midfielders: Liam Fraser, Ismael Kone, Mark-Anthony Kaye, David Wotherspoon, Jonathan Osorio, Atiba Hutchinson, Stephen Eustaquio, Samuel Piette
Forwards: Tajon Buchanan, Liam Millar, Lucas Cavallini, Ike Ugbo, Junior Hoilett, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Alphonso Davies
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Rohith Nair in Bengaluru. Editing by Toby Davis)