France players: Benzema, Pogba, Kante, Kamara, Kimpembe
FOLLOWING is a list of players who have been ruled out or are doubtful through injury for the soccer World Cup, which runs from Sunday through Dec. 18.
PAUL POGBA (FRANCE): Pogba injured his knee in pre-season and underwent surgery in September to repair a damaged meniscus.
The 29-year-old resumed training, but on Oct. 31 his agent said the midfielder would not return to action for Juventus or world champions France before the World Cup.
N’GOLO KANTE (FRANCE): The Chelsea midfielder suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury that has restricted him to two league appearances this season. He will be sidelined for four months after undergoing surgery.
TIMO WERNER (GERMANY): The RB Leipzig forward, 26, sustained an ankle injury during their 4-0 Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk at the start of November and will be sidelined for the rest of 2022.
REECE JAMES (ENGLAND): The 22-year-old right back injured his knee in Chelsea’s Champions League clash against AC Milan in October and said he will not be a part of the England team.
DIOGO JOTA (PORTUGAL): The Liverpool forward will miss the tournament due to a calf injury sustained in their victory over Manchester City, but the Premier League club’s manager Juergen Klopp said that he would not require surgery.
PEDRO NETO (PORTUGAL): The 22-year-old Wolverhampton Wanderers winger will undergo surgery on an ankle injury sustained against West Ham United in October.
BOUBACAR KAMARA (FRANCE): The Aston Villa midfielder suffered a knee ligament injury in September that will keep him out until after the World Cup.
ARTHUR MELO (BRAZIL): Liverpool’s on-loan midfielder picked up a muscle injury in the build-up to a Champions League clash with Rangers in October.
SCOTT KENNEDY (CANADA): The 25-year-old defender sustained a freak shoulder injury at the end of October while playing for SSV Jahn Regensburg in the German second division.
JESUS ‘TECATITO’ CORONA (MEXICO): The Sevilla winger suffered a fracture on his left ankle while he was training with the LaLiga club in August and underwent surgery.
GIOVANI LO CELSO (ARGENTINA): The midfielder picked up a hamstring injury while playing for Villarreal. Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni described him as being “irreplaceable” when naming his squad.
MARCO REUS (GERMANY): The Borussia Dortmund captain sustained an ankle injury and failed to recover fully in time. Reus also missed the 2014 World Cup after getting injured on the eve of Germany’s departure for Brazil, where they won the title.
BEN CHILWELL (ENGLAND): Left back Ben Chilwell pulled up with a hamstring injury during added time in Chelsea’s Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb and said days later he had suffered “significant damage” that would rule him out of the World Cup.
PRESNEL KIMPEMBE (FRANCE): The Paris St Germain center back ruled himself out because of a hamstring injury.
YUTA NAKAYAMA (JAPAN): The defender will miss the World Cup after being ruled out for the rest of the season due to an Achilles injury.
AMINE HARIT (MOROCCO): Morocco’s Olympique de Marseille forward Amine Harit sustained a knee injury during a Ligue 1 match against AS Monaco, ruling him out of the tournament.
SADIO MANE (SENEGAL): Sadio Mane was named in Senegal’s squad for the World Cup despite suffering an injury playing for Bayern Munich, but has been ruled out of the tournament after officials confirmed he would need surgery on the injury.
CHRISTOPHER NKUNKU (FRANCE): The RB Leipzig forward was included in France’s squad for the World Cup, but was ruled out of the tournament after picking up a left knee injury following a tackle from team mate Eduardo Camavinga in training.
JOSE GAYA (SPAIN): Valencia left back Jose Gaya was withdrawn from Spain’s squad for the World Cup in Qatar after suffering an ankle injury in training.
KARIM BENZEMA (FRANCE): Real Madrid striker and Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema was ruled out of the World Cup for France after suffering an injury in training the day before the start of the tournament. — Reuters
(Compiled by Hritika Sharma, Aadi Nair, Rohith Nair and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, Tommy Lund in Gdansk)