BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Lionel Messi's injury has opened the international door to Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi, called up for the first time by Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella for their last two World Cup qualifiers.
"Sabella called up forward Mauro Icardi of Italy's Inter today (Monday) for the matches against Peru and Uruguay," the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said on its website (www.afa.org.ar).
Argentina, who lead the South American group and have already qualified for the 2014 finals in Brazil, host Peru in Buenos Aires on October 11 and visit Uruguay in Montevideo four days later.
Messi suffered a hamstring injury playing for Barcelona at Almeria on Saturday and is expected to be out of action for up to three weeks.
The 20-year-old Icardi, an Argentina under-20 international, came through Barcelona's junior ranks before joining Sampdoria in 2011 from where he moved to Inter this season.
Sabella added Icardi to the squad he named on Friday which included Messi.
(Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)