And now the knock he picked up in the Scottish Cup final threatens to keep him out altogether.
Despite both Ortega and Caniggia being included in Bielsa's first draft of the squad, the battle is moving in favour of Pablo Aimar.
The fragile playmaker has not had the easiest of introductions to senior international football.
He looked very lightweight when called upon to deputise for Juan Sebastian Veron in World Cup qualifying.
He also found it hard to adjust to the physical demands of European football after his move from River Plate to Valencia.
But he has grown up quickly, and has come good at the right time.
Superb in the run-in as Valencia claimed their first Spanish league title for 31 years, he was also in fine form for his country last month against Germany.
Aimar is not a natural wide man but it could be that it is easier for him
to find space on the flanks to launch into his trademark jinking runs.
The team's width is maintained if Javier Zanetti can overlap from his position on the right of midfield.
It was how Argentina played in a friendly away to Italy last year, when
their 2-1 win did little justice to the extent of their domination.
It could be the way that Argentina will begin their World Cup campaign.