Antonio Valencia v Arsenal
Valencia recovering from ankle surgery which United insisted upon  Getty

Manchester United fullback Antonio Valencia will miss June's Copa America competition having undergone ankle surgery.

Valencia, 29, underwent the procedure following the conclusion of United's Premier League campaign to remove metal screws inserted into his ankle following a previous surgery in 2010.

Valencia is required to complete at least two weeks of rehabilitation, ruling him out of the tournament in Chile, which gets under way on 11 June.

The plates or screws were causing trouble," Ecuador head coach Gustavo Quinteros said. "Therefore they [United] decided on an operation. It was urgent surgery for Antonio. I want him to be 100% in World Cup qualifying. The surgery was not something that was planned long ago."

Valencia suffered the initial injury, a fractured angle and damaged ligaments, in a 2010 Champions League tie with Rangers.

He played every minute of United's last 14 league matches of the 2014-15 season, with the neither club nor manager Louis van Gaal having indicated the player was carrying an injury.

Having played much of the campaign at right-back, Valencia will be expected to return in time for pre-season training.

Valencia's club teammates Angel di Maria and Marcos Rojo will be in action in the Copa America, having been named in Argentina's squad.

Van Gaal may welcome the news of Valencia's absence in Chile this month, having already aired his concerns over his players wearing themselves out ahead of the start of the 2015-16 season.

"Yes, of course [some may miss the start of the season]," the Dutch coach said of the club's contingent of South Americans. "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."