BARCELONA (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid forward David Villa has pulled out of the Spain squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers at home to Belarus and Georgia after suffering a bout of arthritis in his left ankle, the club said on Sunday.
"By mutual agreement with Juan Cota, orthopaedic surgeon of the national team and Celta Vigo, the Asturian will not be a part of the team," Atletico said in a statement on their website (www.clubatleticodemadrid.com).
Villa asked to leave the pitch in the 58th minute of Atletico's 2-1 against Celta earlier on Sunday.
"He has minor discomfort in the ankle," Atletico coach Diego Simeone told a news conference, adding he expected the player to recover soon.
Villa was one of four players from in-form Atletico included in the Spanish squad by coach Vicente Del Bosque. The others are right back Juanfran and midfielders Koke and Mario Suarez.
Del Bosque is expected to announce a replacement for Villa later on Sunday.
World and European champions Spain host Belarus on Friday and then Georgia on October 15. Spain are level on 14 points with France at the top of Group I although Les Bleus have played one more match. (Reporting by Braden Phillips; Editing by Alison Wildey)