Which stars have been ruled out of the World Cup in Qatar with injury and who is facing a race against time to be fit?
The tournament in Qatar is set to be without a number of global football stars – among them France’s Paul Pogba, who is now confirmed to be out due to an
ongoing knee problem.
Pogba injured his knee in pre-season and went under the knife in September to repair a damaged meniscus. The 29-year-old resumed training but on October 31 his agent said the midfielder would not return to action for Juventus nor the world champions before the World Cup.
There are number of players facing a race against time to be fit, including South Korea’s Heung-Min Son. The Tottenham forward has undergone surgery to stabilise a fracture around his left eye after sustaining the injury in his side’s 2-1 win over Marseille on Tuesday, and while Spurs have given no timeframe for the 30-year-old’s recovery, with the World Cup starting on November 20 he faces a battle to be fit.
England have injury concerns of their own with Kyle Walker, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Kalvin Phillips all on the sidelines as the World Cup gets ever closer.
Japan have already named their squad for Qatar and Takehiro Tomiyasu was set to be a key figure for Hajime Moriyasu’s side, but a muscle injury picked up in the latter stages of Arsenal’s Europa League win against Zurich has left his participation in doubt.
More Premier League stars missing the tournament include France midfielder N’Golo Kante and Portugal’s Diogo Jota.
More familiar faces who could also miss out…
Meanwhile, Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku is a major doubt after picking up a hamstring problem.
The Netherlands will definitely be missing Gini Wijnaldum, who broke his leg in August, but Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria look on course to win their own battles with calf and hamstring injuries, respectively, to represent Argentina. However, Giovani Lo Celso is a concern with a hamstring issue.
There was also good news for Germany fans, with Manuel Neuer nearing a return from his shoulder injury, although, like his French Bayern Munich team-mate Lucas Hernandez, who is back from a groin injury, there will be little time to get match-sharp.
Neuer could also be at risk of missing out after revealing he has undergone treatment for skin cancer. The 36-year-old has not played for Bayern since early October.
Wonderkid Florian Wirtz has returned to full training with Bayer Leverkusen after tearing his ACL last term and has reportedly been included in Germany manager Hansi Flick’s provisional squad. But they will be without Timo Werner, who has torn an ankle ligament and won’t be fit until the new year.
Spain’s Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal – key figures in their run to the Euros semi-finals last summer – are in a similar situation after ankle and knee injuries.
Sevilla winger Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona suffered a fracture on his left ankle while he was training with the La Liga club in August and underwent surgery meaning he will be missing from the Mexico squad.
The 29-year-old was named in Mexico coach Gerardo Martino’s preliminary 31-man squad but Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli said he could return to training only by December.
Which injured PL players could miss the World Cup?
Emile Smith Rowe, England: Surgery on groin tendon
Takehiro Tomiyasu, Japan: Muscle injury
Boubacar Kamara, France: Recovering from knee ligament injury
David Brooks, Wales: Hamstring injury after cancer (Hodgkin lymphoma) all clear and hasn’t played since September 2021
World Cup 2022 schedule, teams and draw
World Cup – every team who’s qualified
Where will World Cup teams be based?
Christian Norgaard, Denmark: Recovering from Achilles injury, due back early November
Jakub Moder, Poland: ACL injury
N’Golo Kante, France: Recovering from hamstring surgery
Wesley Fofana, France: Knee injury
Reece James, England: Knee injury
Ben Chilwell, England: Hamstring injury
Ricardo, Portugal: Recovering from Achilles surgery
Arthur Melo, Brazil: Thigh injury
Diogo Jota, Portugal: Calf injury
Kalvin Phillips, England: Recovering from shoulder surgery
Kyle Walker, England: Recovering from groin surgery
Raphael Varane, France: Hamstring injury
Moussa Niakhate, Senegal: Hamstring injury
Kyle Walker-Peters, England: Hamstring injury
Arel Bella Kotchap, Germany: Dislocated shoulder
Richarlison, Brazil: Calf injury
Heung-Min Son, South Korea: Eye injury
Pedro Neto, Portugal: Ankle injury
Raul Jiménez, Mexico: Groin injury
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