Antonio Valencia
Antonio Valencia's absence for the Copa America could yet see him return in time for the new seasonGetty

Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia is expected to miss Ecuador's Copa America campaign after undergoing surgery.

The Ecuador Football Federation have called a press conference in the capital of Quito on 26 May to clarify Valencia's fitness after the 29-year-old posted two images on his Instagram page of him sitting up in a hospital bed with the message: "Now just thinking about recovery."

Valencia has been included in the provisional Ecuador squad for the tournament that starts on 11 June and has played every minute of United's last 14 league matches, with the neither club nor manager Louis van Gaal having indicated the player was carrying an injury.

But the bout of mystery surgery following by confirmation a press briefing will be held to discuss Valencia's fitness suggests the player will be unavailable for the event, which sees Ecuador face Chile, Mexico and Bolivia in Group A.

The former Wigan Athletic winger is no stranger to going under the knife, having had an operation after dislocating and fracturing his ankle during a horrific incident in 2010.

Should Valencia be ruled out of the Copa America, but the surgery be deemed to have not been serious, the news will come as a positive for Van Gaal, who has expressed concern over those players travelling to the tournament being hosted in Chile.

Valencia was among three United players selected for the tournament, with Marcos Rojo and Angel di Maria both included in the Argentina squad and Van Gaal had expected the trio to miss the start of the new Premier League season.

"Yes, of course [some may miss the start of the season]," the Dutch coach said. "They need, as the other players do, holidays. When they are playing in the final – and that is possible with, for example, Argentina – then they are again late in our preparation.

"That's not so good for Manchester United but I hope they shall play in the final because that's great for them."