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The 2022 FIFA World Cup is the first to be held in the months of November and December, and the timing is already having an impact on the participating teams.
Due to the intense summer heat in host nation Qatar, the World Cup had to be moved from the usual June-July window. While the scheduling change will make for better playing conditions for the players, it has also posed a challenge for a number of squads.
Since the World Cup tournament falls smack in the middle of the European club season, rather than during the off-season which has been customary, it means any players injured in the weeks leading up to the World Cup are in danger of missing the tournament.
In past editions, these players had several weeks to recover prior to the tournament’s kickoff, but this time around there is precious little time between the break from club play (November 14) and the start of the World Cup on Sunday, November 20.
World Cup injuries 2022
There are a significant number of injuries to track as the 2022 FIFA World Cup gets underway. These are some of the biggest names who will miss the tournament in Qatar, or have been ruled out during play:
- Karim Benzema (France)
- Lucas Hernandez (France)
- Presnel Kimpembe (France)
- Paul Pogba (France)
- N’Golo Kante (France)
- Mike Maignan (France)
- Christopher Nkunku (France)
- Timo Werner (Germany)
- Florian Wirtz (Germany)
- Diogo Jota (Portugal)
- Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands)
- Alexis Saelemaekers (Belgium)
- Neymar (Brazil)
- Danilo (Brazil)
- Diego Carlos (Brazil)
- Arthur Melo (Brazil)
- Ben Chilwell (England)
- Reece James (England)
- Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona (Mexico)
- Marco Reus (Germany)
- Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina)
- Nicolas Gonzalez (Argentina)
- Joaquin Correa (Argentina)
- Amine Harit (Morocco)
- Sadio Mane (Senegal)
- Thomas Delaney (Denmark)
And here are the most high-profile injury situations we’re monitoring closely:
- Enner Valencia (Ecuador)
- Memphis Depay (Netherlands)
- James Maddison (England)
- Kyle Walker (England)
- Kamaldeen Sulemana (Ghana)
- Sardar Azmoun (Iran)
- Ahmad Noorollahi (Iran)
- Raul Jimenez (Mexico)
- Son Heung-min (South Korea)
- Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain)
- Harry Kane (England)
- Leroy Sane (Germany)
- Danilo Pereira (Portugal)
We’re tracking every team’s most problematic injury situations below, with consistent updates as the tournaments progresses (countries listed in alphabetical order):
Australia injuries World Cup 2022
Ajdin Hrustic: There was concern around the ankle injury that kept him out for three matches with Hellas Verona in Italy, but he is back for the World Cup and was named to the final 26-man squad. He made first first World Cup appearance off the bench agains Tunisia in the second match of the groups.
- Martin Boyle (ruled out): Missed Nov. 4 match. He was picked for the final 26-man list, as part of an attempt to get him ready in time, but standby player Marco Tilio has now moved into the squad as his confirmed replacement.
- Harry Souttar (ACL): Returned Nov. 8 and selected in final squad and started against France.
- Nathaniel Atkisnon (Ankle): Ruled out of the Tunisia game due to an ankle injury picked up in recent days.
Argentina injuries World Cup 2022
Paulo Dybala: He suffered a torn hamstring on October 9 while taking and scoring a penalty. It looked initially unlikely that he would be available for the World Cup, but he has recovered in time and is on the roster. He was left out of the side for their warm-up match against UAE on November 16 and stayed on the bench during Argentina’s shock opening defeat to Saudi Arabia.
Giovani Lo Celso: The midfielder suffered a torn quad on October 30 while playing for Villarreal. Parent club Tottenham want him to undergo surgery and he has missed out on Qatar.
Nicolas Gonzalez: The forward missed Fiorentina’s most recent four matches with a muscle problem. Argentina confirmed on November 17 that his place in the World Cup squad would be taken by Angel Correa.
Joaquin Correa: The Inter Milan attacker scored in a 5-0 friendly win over the UAE on November 16 but picked up a knee injury in that game that has ruled him out of the World Cup. Thiago Almada has been named as his replacement.
- Juan Foyth (undisclosed): Lo Celso’s teammate at Villarreal has been out since Aug. 28 but he has since returned to action and was named to the squad.
- Leandro Paredes (quad): Out since Oct. 21 but he also made the final cut for Qatar.
- Cristian Romero (hamstring): Missed last five club games, was named in the squad but left out of warm-up match vs. UAE. Started the stunning defeat to Saudi Arabia but was substituted after 59 minutes.
- Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez (undisclosed): Not in the squad for UAE warm-up match, and part of the group of players Scaloni admits are not 100% fit.
Belgium injuries World Cup 2022
Romelu Lukaku: It’s been an injury-plagued season for Lukaku, and while it seemed likely that Lukaku’s presence on the Belgium roster meant he would shake off his hamstring issue in time for the group stage, he sat in the stands during the opening game victory over Canada.
“If he can’t play in the group stage, he won’t be with us,” Roberto Martinez said before the tournament. However, on Sunday reports emerged that Lukaku would likely miss at least the first two group stage matches of the tournament.
Thomas Meunier: The wing-back suffered a fractured cheekbone on October 20. He was out of club action until the break but Roberto Martinez deemed him ready to play in Qatar and substituted the wing-back – wearing a protective face mask – into the action at half-time against Canada.
- Alexis Saelemaekers (knee ligament): Out for the World Cup.
Brazil injuries World Cup 2022
Antony: The Manchester United newcomer reportedly suffered a bout of illness that forced him to miss training two days of training before Brazil’s game against Switzerland on November 28.
Goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Lucas Paqueta were also affected but rejoined the group after a day.
Neymar: The forward was the victim of a rough tackle that caught his right ankle and had to come during the 2-0 win over Serbia. Images from the match showed his ankle swelling up immediately with scans to come to assess the injury. Tite stressed post-match his belief that Neymar’s World Cup was not over yet.
The following day, Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told Globo that “scans showed a lateral ligament injury on Neymar’s right ankle, along with a small bone swelling”. He is not expected to play again until the last 16.
Neymar’s intense rehabilitation has already started, with the PSG winger sharing a picture on Instagram of the swelling reducing, as confidence grows over his comeback in the Brazil camp.
Danilo: The experienced right-back impressed in the Serbia game but sustained a medial ligament injury in his left ankle. Danilo is facing a similar time on the sidelines to Neymar, meaning he is set to sit out the remaining Group G games against Switzerland and Cameroon.
Bremer: The Juventus center-back was withdrawn from club action on October 15 with a quad injury, but returned to availability in early November and was selected for the final roster.
- Diego Carlos (ACL tear): Out for World Cup.
- Arthur Melo (thigh injury): Out for World Cup.
- Lucas Verissimo (ACL tear): He suffered the injury on Nov. 2021, and returned Oct. 22 to Liga 2 action. But he did not make the final cut.
Cameroon injuries World Cup 2022
Andre Onana: Inter Milan goalkeeper Onana played in Cameroon’s opening game against Switzerland but was absent from the Indomitable Lions’ matchday squad for their second match, when they faced Serbia on November 28.
AFP quoted a national team source as saying that the 26-year-old had been dropped for disciplinary reasons. Journalist Fabrizio Romano claimed Onana has been removed from the squad because of a disagreement with head coach Rigobert Song over the style of goalkeeping he should deploy.
Canada injuries World Cup 2022
Stephen Eustaquio: The Porto midfielder received treatment for an apparent muscular problem during the first half of Canada’s match against Croatia and was replaced at halftime.
Alphonso Davies: Canada fans held their collective breath as Davies limped off with a hamstring injury on November 5, with just precious few days to go before the tournament. There was a sigh of relief, though, as Bayern confirmed that Davies would be available for the World Cup, although me missed the German side’s final two club matches before the break.
The 22-year-old was still being assessed by the Canada medical staff in the build-up to the opener against Belgium, with John Herdman admitting the captain was still ‘finding top speed.’ However, Davies played every minute of the defeat to Belgium and looked incredibly sharp.
- Maxime Crepeau (right leg fracture): Out for World Cup. Suffered the injury in the MLS Cup final on Nov. 5.
- Scott Kennedy (shoulder injury): Confirmed out for World Cup.
- Doneil Henry (muscle injury): Injured in warmups before the Bahrain friendly, confirmed out for the World Cup.
Costa Rica injuries World Cup 2022
Keylor Navas: Unable to get any game time at PSG behind a surging Gianluigi Donnarumma, Navas suddenly cropped up with a back injury in early November.
It’s possible that at 35 years old, the club was simply allowing him to rest for the World Cup knowing he’s not going to play ahead of Donnarumma. Navas did start Costa Rica’s opener against Spain but conceded seven on a miserable night for his nation.
Croatia injuries World Cup 2022
Marcelo Brozovic: Out since mid-September with a hamstring injury, Brozovic returned to club action with Inter just in time, playing a handful of minutes in the November 6 Derby d’Italia against Juventus. In a massive boost for the 2018 runners-up, Brozovic played every minute of the opener against Morocco.
Nikola Vlasic: West Ham schemer Vlasic, currently on loan at Torino, was withdrawn at half time in Croatia’s 0-0 draw with Morocco and will be sidelined for the Canada match.
- Domagoj Vida (muscle injury): Missed club match on Nov. 6, and his status is unknown. He has, though, been named in the final squad.
Denmark injuries World Cup 2022
Andreas Christensen: One of many Barcelona defenders suffering through injury trouble, Christensen returned from a sprained ankle to make a cameo on Nov. 5 against Almeria. He was included on the final roster before keeping a clean sheet against Tunisia and scoring against France.
Thomas Delaney: Sevilla midfielder Delaney appeared to be troubled by a hamstring injury when he was replaced by Mikkel Damsgaard during the first half of Denmark’s opening game against Tunisia. He was later ruled out of the tournament and will undergo a four-week rehabilitation period.
- Jonas Wind (hamstring injury): Missed his final club match on Nov. 12, but was selected to the World Cup roster and should be fit to play.
Ecuador injuries World Cup 2022
Enner Valencia: The Ecuador captain scored a brace in the opening match of the tournament against Qatar, but took a number of thumping tackles in the game and limped off in the 77th minute looking worse for wear. He was seen with ice on his knee on the bench as the match came to a close.
He was able to return to the team next match against the Netherlands and scored in that game, but was then forced to go off later on a stretcher, though he was later seen walking on his own and sitting on the bench with ice.
“I did tests and it came out that I have a knee sprain, which is bothering me a bit,” Valencia said afterwards, adding that he “played with pain” against the Netherlands but suggesting that the issue is improving and will not keep him out of his country’s match against Senegal on November 29.
Robert Arboleda: The 30-year-old center-back last played for his Brazilian club team Sao Paulo back on June 19, missing months due to a fractured ankle. He appeared off the bench in the pre-World Cup friendly against Iran, and was included on the final 26-man roster released on November 14.
Ayrton Preciado: The Santos Laguna forward missed the entire season with his Mexican club due to a leg fracture. He was on the bench for the Iraq friendly, and while he did not make it onto the field, he was still included in Gonzalo Alfaro’s final squad.
- Joao Rojas (ACL tear in July): Out for World Cup.
England injuries for World Cup 2022
Reece James: One of the most devastating injuries for any team at the World Cup involves England full-back Reece James, who was in fantastic form with Chelsea before he suffered a knee injury against Wolves on October 8. There was some debate that he may still be included in Gareth Southgate’s squad, but it was confirmed on November 9 he will not make the tournament.
— Reece James (@ReeceJames) November 9, 2022
Kyle Walker: Another critical England defender struggling for fitness is Kyle Walker who has been missing with a groin injury since October 2. He still made the squad though with Southgate confident he can have a part to play despite – despite ruling him out for the Iran and USA fixtures.
Kalvin Phillips: The midfielder hasn’t started a game for City this season having battled to return from a shoulder injury. However, having made his comeback in recent weeks, he too made the 26-man squad.
James Maddison: Having forced his way back into the England reckoning at just the right time, Leicester City star Maddison went down in the first half of the Foxes’ Premier League game at West Ham on November 12 and had to be substituted, having earlier given his side the lead. He later tweeted to say the problem wasn’t serious but has been sidelined for both England’s matches so far.
Harry Maguire: The big defender who got an assist in England’s opening game win over Iran was taken off early, with Gareth Southgate telling reporters he was suffering from illness. However, the Man United defender recovered quickly and impressed against USA.
Harry Kane: England’s captain is set for a scan on his right ankle, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein. Kane was removed from the World Cup-opening victory over Iran in the 76th minute. While the result was well in hand at the time, reporters at the stadium said Kane was seen walking with a slight limp afterward. He played all 90 minutes against the USA but his ankle appeared swollen in pictures taken after the game.
- Ben Chilwell (hamstring injury): Out of World Cup.
- Emile Smith Rowe (groin surgery on Sept. 29): Out of World Cup.
France injuries World Cup 2022
N’Golo Kante: The Chelsea midfielder has been injury prone his whole career, and succumbed to a hamstring issue early in the Premier League season. He’s been out since mid-August and was ruled out of the World Cup a number of weeks before the tournament.
Paul Pogba: A knee injury in pre-season kept Pogba out of action for Juventus all season, and while it was thought he could recover in time for the World Cup, he suffered a thigh injury during his recovery, ruling him out of the World Cup. It’s a brutal blow to France, who will be missing both their starting midfielders in Qatar.
Mike Maignan: Outside of Pogba and Kante, Maignan is the biggest miss for France due to the calf injury that has had him out of action since October 1. He was ruled out of club action through the new year by AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli. Maignan had a breakout season in 2021/22 and was a big reason the Rossoneri won the Serie A title.
Presnel Kimpembe: Originally called up to the squad, the PSG defender did not feel fully recovered from injury and so will not be at the World Cup. His place was taken by uncapped Monaco centre-back Axel Disasi.
Lucas Hernandez: Out for most of September and all of October with an adductor tear, Lucas Hernandez returned to fitness just in time for the World Cup. However, only nine minutes into the opening game against Australia Hernandez went down clutching his leg in severe pain. He has been ruled-out of the rest of the tournament with an ACL rupture.
Raphael Varane: The Man United defender came off in tears in late October and missed the rest of the Red Devils’ slate before the World Cup break, but was called up by France manager Didier Deschamps and trained before the first match.
Karim Benzema: The Ballon d’Or winner left France training after 15 minutes just a week before the start of his country’s campaign, according to RMC, which said that the prolific striker has been suffering from a muscular problem but did not appear unduly concerned by the situation.
On November 19, France confirmed that Benzema would play no part in the tournament because of a thigh injury.
Didier Deschamps has decided against calling up a replacement for the Real Madrid striker with Les Bleus sticking with a 25-man squad in Qatar.
Christopher Nkunku: The Leipzig attacker has been withdrawn from France’s World Cup squad after picking up a knee injury during training. Subsequent scans confirmed a sprain which will keep him sidelined throughout the tournament in Qatar with Randal Kolo Muani replacing him in the squad.
Eduardo Camavinga: There was a report on Sunday that the Real Madrid midfielder suffered an adductor injury in training. There’s no official word, but the report indicated it “wasn’t serious.” One to monitor given how thin the France midfield already is.
- Lucas Digne (ankle): Returned to action with Aston Villa Oct. 29, and fit for selection, but he was not picked by Deschamps.
- Boubacar Kamara (knee ligament): Initially though to be out, but reportedly recovering faster than expected. He didn’t make it in time and was left off the roster.
- Jules Kounde (muscle knock): He missed FC Barcelona’s last two matches on Nov. 5 and Nov. 8, but Deschamps named him to his squad and brought him on as a substitute during the opening match.
Germany injuries for World Cup 2022
Leroy Sane: It was a scare when Leroy Sane went down with a hamstring tear in mid-October, but he returned to action for Bayern Munich with a 15-minute cameo on November 5. Was an unused substitute for the shock Japan defeat. Flick revealed Sane “will be able to take part” against Spain.
Timo Werner: It’s heartbreak for Timo Werner, who was recovering his form after moving to RB Leipzig this past summer. He limped off in the 19th minute of Leipzig’s Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk on November 2 and is out for the World Cup with a foot injury.
Florian Wirtz: The Bayer Leverkusen attacker has been out all season as he recovers from an ACL tear suffered back in March, and despite reports that he could have returned specifically for the World Cup, Hansi Flick ultimately opted to omit him from the final squad.
Marco Reus: After picking up a knock during his last outing for Dortmund, Marco Reus is confirmed to be missing the upcoming World Cup. It’s the second showpiece event which the Dortmund captain will miss through injury.
- Armell Bella-Kotchap (shoulder injury): Returned to club action Nov. 6 and is selected in the final squad.
- Thomas Muller (hip injury): Out since Oct. 29 but returned in time to start the opening game, lasting 67 minutes.
Ghana injuries for World Cup 2022
Emmanuel Gyasi: The Spezia captain was forced to sit out the remaining matches in Serie A and was ultimately not picked in Ghana’s 26-man squad for the tournament.
Kamaldeen Sulemana (ankle): The electric Rennes left winger has missed two straight matches with an ankle issue picked up in training. It’s not clear how serious the injury is, though he has been named in Ghana’s final squad.
Daniel Kofi Kyereh: The SC Freiburg attacker has yet to play for his club this month with a muscle issue. He was deemed fit enough to make the cut, though.
- Stephan Ambrosius: A thigh injury picked up in the Nov. 5 match for Karlsruher will force him to miss the World Cup.
Iran injuries World Cup 2022
Sardar Azmoun: With 65 caps at 27 years old, Azmoun is one of the most important players in the Iran squad.
He has been missing for Bayer Leverkusen since early October with a calf tear, and his prognosis at the time was a six to eight-week recovery. He was able to come on as a substitute in the closing stages of Iran’s 6-2 loss to England, and he was fit to start against Wales
Azmoun starred during Iran’s 2-0 win but required treatment on several occasions before being substituted midway through the second half.
Alireza Beiranvand: Iran’s starting goalkeeper clashed heads with a teammate during the loss to England, leaving him with a bloodied nose. After around 10 minutes of treatment, he tried to continue, but he was substituted barely two minutes later. Beiranvand remained sidelined for the 2-0 win over Wales, with Hossein Hosseini starting and impressing on his way to a clean sheet.
Ahmad Noorollahi: One of the players who retained his place against Wales after the England debacle but the midfielder limped off before the final flourish from Carlos Queiroz’s side.
- Allahyar Sayyadmanesh (hamstring): Out since Aug. 16 for Hull City, and was ultimately omitted from the final squad.
- Omid Ebrahimi (groin): Out since Sept. 19 for Al-Wakrah. Returned to play five minutes in Iran friendly vs. Nicaragua on Nov. 10, but the injury reappeared. Was not included on Iran’s World Cup roster.
Japan injuries World Cup 2022
Hiroki Sakai damaged his hamstring against Germany and was substituted after 75 minutes. Had to skip training in the days after but said, in the build-up to the Costa Rica game: “My feeling is not so bad but the decision [to play] is for the coach.”
Takefusa Kubo: The Real Sociedad playmaker was included in the final 26-man roster for Japan, but he’s been out since October 30 with a shoulder injury. Returned in time to start against Germany, lasting 70 minutes before going off.
Ao Tanaka: Like Kubo, Tanaka was also included in the 26-man squad, but he suffered a knock and missed the November 5 Bundesliga match for Fortuna Dusseldorf. Started the Germany upset but was replaced at half-time.
- Takuma Asano (knee ligament injury): Out since Sept. 18 but recovered in time to face Germany. Came on as a 57th minute substitute and scored the winning goal that stunned the world.
- Ko Itakura (knee ligament injury): Out since 9/11 but recovered to play 90 minutes against Germany.
- Yuta Nakayama (Achilles tear): Out of World Cup, replaced by Shuto Machino on Japan roster.
Mexico injuries World Cup 2022
Jesus Manuel Corona: ’Tecatito’ suffered a broken ankle in training with his club team Sevilla in August. Days after his club manager indicated he’d only be cleared to train in December, Mexico confirmed on Nov. 8 that Tecatito would not be part of the final squad heading to Qatar.
Raul Jimenez: Mexico have a problem on their hands at striker, as talisman Raul Jimenez was in poor form before falling victim to a nagging hip injury in September. Reports indicated that Jimenez was struggling to walk at times during his recovery due to pain but was included on the final 26-man roster. Came on as a substitute against Poland and Argentina.
Andres Guardado: The Mexico captain started the second group game against Argentina, but was substituted just before halftime. It was an odd substitution as he didn’t receive treatment on the field, but it was clearly was injury related. Reports indicate it was a calf problem, and his status is unknown.
Morocco injuries World Cup 2022
Yassine Bounou: The Sevilla goalkeeper – known as Bono – was selected to start and sang the national anthem on the pitch with his teammates before Morocco’s game against Belgium, only to be replaced by Munir El Kajoui shortly before kickoff. It’s unclear what happened, but he was seen speaking to the referee and his manager while appearing to point at one of his eyes, while his bent-over nature also suggested he was feeling ill.
Achraf Hakimi played every minute against Croatia but complained of a thigh problem post-match. Morocco’s medical team revealed the injury was not serious but Hakimi will be assessed further to decide whether he can feature against Belgium.
Noussair Mazraoui: Bayern Munich left-back Noussair Mazraoui signalled for treatment and was helped off on a stretcher after an hour of his side’s opening game against Croatia on November 23. Ruled-out for Belgium match but could still feature again in Qatar.
Youssef En-Nesyri: A key member of the Morocco attack is a worry as En-Nesyri missed two matches with a hamstring injury and then came off the bench in the Seville derby against Real Betis on Nov. 6.
He’s yet to score a goal in La Liga this season and is generally in poor form with the rest of his club team, but his talent ensured that he was named in the final squad. Played 80 minutes against Croatia.
Amine Harit: Marseille forward Harit was stretchered off the pitch during his side’s 3-2 win at Monaco in Ligue 1 on November 13. He was subsequently ruled out of the World Cup on November 16 with Burnley winger Anass Zaroury brought in as his replacement.
- Ez Abde (muscle): Out since Oct. 23 and did not make the squad.
- Tarik Tissoudali (ACL tear): Out since July 30 and confirmed out for World Cup.
Netherlands injuries World Cup 2022
Memphis Depay: Depay has been struggling for fitness since he was injured on international duty in September, but told reporters he was fit to play. Manager Louis Van Gaal opted to start him on the bench in their opener against Senegal, where he came off the bench and helped them secure a 2-0 win.
Georginio Wijnaldum: After moving to Roma this past summer in the hopes of reviving his club career, he suffered a broken leg just 12 minutes into the season, and will miss the World Cup.
Poland injuries World Cup 2022
Jakub Moder: With 20 caps at age 23, the Brighton midfielder would have been a likely contributor for Poland, but an ACL tear in early April left him on the outside looking in. He has not yet appeared for Brighton this season, meaning he did not make the final squad.
Bartlomiej Dragowski: The 25-year-old Spezia goalkeeper suffered a broken ankle before his side launched their comeback in a 2-1 win at Verona in the Italian Serie A on November 13, ruling him out of the finals.
Krystian Bielik: Derby County midfielder Bielik injured himself after coming on as a half time substitute in Poland’s 0-0 Group C draw with Mexico. Despite picking up a minor injury, he is expected to feature against Saudi Arabia, but Czesław Michniewicz hinted defender Bartek Bereszyński is a major doubt.
“Bielik has a minor injury and Bereszyński has a muscle problem. We’ll see what’s up with Beres. If he can’t play, everything will be turned upside down for us.”
- Robert Gumny (abductor): Returned on Nov. 5 for Augsburg and will be fit for World Cup selection.
Portugal injuries World Cup 2022
Danilo Pereira: The defender or midfielder was diagnosed with three broken ribs in hospital, suffering the injury during training ground defensive work that coach Fernando Santos suggested had been innocuous.
“It didn’t initially look like anything worrisome despite him having breathing difficulties,” said Santos, who will be without the PSG player against Portugal on November 28.
“I’m not a doctor – we have to wait. It’s a blow – it would be better if we can still count on him but we have three central defenders.”
Diogo Jota: The Liverpool forward returned from a hamstring injury in early October and looked bright, but cruelly suffered a calf injury just weeks later and will be out for the World Cup, thinning the strike options for Portugal behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nuno Mendes: The PSG defender is a regular starter for the Portugal squad, but missed out on the opening match against Ghana with a muscle injury picked up in training. His status for the Uruguay game is unknown, but it does not seem to threaten his participation in the tournament long-term.
- Pedro Neto (ankle injury): Out since Oct. 1 and out of the World Cup.
- Ricardo Pereira (Achilles tear): Out of World Cup.
Qatar injuries for World Cup 2022
Abdullah Al-Ahrak: The Al-Duhail midfielder suffered an ACL tear in January and has not made a single appearance this year with the injury ruling him out of the World Cup.
Saudi Arabia injuries for World Cup 2022
Saleh Al-Shehri: The center forward for Saudi Pro League team Al-Hilal has returned from an Achilles tear, making his first appearance on October 6. Scored Saudi’s first goal of their shock victory against Argentina.
Fahad al-Muwallad: The winger was dropped from the final squad, but not because of injury; instead, he was omitted as a ‘precaution’ due to failing a doping test back in February.
Yasser Al-Shahrani: Left back Al-Shahrani was stretched off in the final minutes of Saudi Arabia’s incredible 2-1 Group C opening win against Argentina, after colliding with goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais.
Scans have reportedly revealed a fractured jaw and facial bones as well as internal bleeding. He has since undergone emergency surgery on the injury and the defender is likely to be ruled out for the rest of the tournament.
Senegal injuries for World Cup 2022
Sadio Mane: The big news is that star man Sadio Mane has been ruled out of the tournament. He limped off with injury in Bayern Munich’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen on November 8. Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann said Mane “took a knock to the head of his tibia. It’s always uncomfortable. He has to have an X-ray. I hope nothing is wrong”.
French newspaper L’Equipe previously claimed Mane’s injury was severe enough to rule him out of the World Cup as a result of a tendon injury that will keep him out for ‘several weeks’. “We will have to rely on playing the first games without Sadio and win without Sadio,” said Abdoulaye Sow, a board member of the Senegal football federation (FSF), speaking to AP days before the start of the finals. “No-one would have wanted it, but that’s what’s happened to us.”
On November 17, Senegal confirmed that Mane’s recovery would taker longer than hoped and he would therefore be unable to play in Qatar.
Keita Balde: One of the non-injuries on this list, the Spartak Moscow striker was banned in September for an anti-doping violation. His suspension runs through December 5, meaning he would be out for the group stage and Cisse has opted against including him in the final 26.
Cheikhou Kouyate: The Nottingham Forest midfielder landed awkwardly during the opening match against Netherlands and had to be taken off on a stretcher. He was left out of the squad that beat Qatar and is a major doubt for the rest of the tournament.
Abdou Diallo: Defender Diallo was also taken off against the Netherlands but Cisse indicated it was only as a precaution due to muscle pain and he returned to training on Thursday. He played all 90 minutes against Qatar.
- Pape Abou Cisse (hip): A hip issue kept him out of four matches in October for Olympiacos, and he played a half-hour in the club’s Europa League group finale. Recovered in time to play 90 minutes against the Netherlands.
- Bouna Sarr (knee surgery): He’s been out since Sept. 3 and having failed to play a single minute for Bayern Munich all season, the World Cup has come round too quickly for him.
Serbia injuries for World Cup 2022
Aleksandar Mitrovic: In spectacular form for Fulham, Mitrovic suffered an ankle injury on international duty in late September and has had to manage through it since. He missed one match on October 9, before returning, and missed another game on November 5 that raised a flag. However, Serbia’s all time leading scorer has been named in the final 26.
Dusan Vlahovic: The Juventus striker has been feeding on scraps all season, and he suffered an adductor injury on October 21, causing him to miss three straight matches, but he has also been included in the squad.
South Korea injuries for World Cup 2022
Son Heung-min: One of the players who could change the fortunes of a national team at the World Cup is Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, who took a blow to the face on October 29 and required surgery on fractures around his eye on Nov. 4.
Although Tottenham manager Antonio Conte says he’s confident that Son will be ready for the World Cup and Son himself has confirmed he will be making the trip to the tournament.
Son was sporting a protective face mask as he played every minute of South Korea’s 0-0 draw with Uruguay.
Kim Min-jae: The centre-back was grounded for a prolonged period during the second half of the game against Uruguay with what looked like a foot injury after becoming caught in the turf.
The Napoli defender completed the match and manager Paulo Bento was unable to provide a conclusive update on his fitness afterwards.
Hwang Hee-chan: The Wolverhampton Wanderers forward missed the match against Ghana on November 28 with a hamstring injury.
Spain injuries for World Cup 2022
Eric Garcia: Spain are relatively healthy coming into the World Cup, but the Barcelona center-back missed the Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen on November 1 with a hamstring injury. Despite playing a limited amount of football in recent weeks the former Manchester City defender has been included in the squad.
Marcos Llorente: The 27-year-old was withdrawn from Atletico Madrid’s Oct. 4 match against Club Brugge in the first half, suffering a calf muscle tear. He missed an entire month of action, but after returning to action on Nov. 6, Luis Enrique has included the Colchoneros star.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: The Chelsea goalkeeper suffered a muscle tear in his foot, and was rated by Blues boss Graham Potter as “day-by-day” in his press conference on November 8. It was enough to rule him out of Qatar with Luis Enrique naming Premier League pair David Raya and Robert Sanchez as Unai Simon’s backups.
Jose Gaya: The Valencia left-back was a strong chance to start Spain’s opening match, however a sprained ankle picked up in training has meant he will heartbreakingly miss out on the tournament. Barcelona starlet Alex Balde will take his place despite having no international experience.
- Dani Olmo (knee): Returned to action on Oct. 22 and was included by Enrique – starting and scoring against Costa Rica.
- Mikel Oyarzabal (ACL tear in March): He has yet to make an appearance this season and was ruled out.
- Cesar Azpilicueta: Picked up a knock to the calf while playing for Chelsea on the eve of the tournament but recovered to play 90 minutes against Costa Rica.
Switzerland injuries World Cup 2022
Noah Okafor: The Salzburg star has sustained a thigh muscle problem and will sit out the match against Brazil.
Renato Steffen: The 31-year-old winger, who plays for Lugano domestically, missed the opener against Cameroon with an adductor injury and could see more time on the sidelines.
Yann Sommer: After suffering an ankle injury on October 8, Sommer’s World Cup status looked in serious doubt, but he was named in the final Swiss squad on November 9.
The talented goalkeeper would have been a big miss for Switzerland but recovered to keep a clean sheet against Cameroon in their opener.
Yvon Mvogo: Goalkeeper Mvogo picked up a thigh injury while playing for Lorient in Ligue 1 against Paris Saint-Germain on November 6. The issue has cost the 28-year-old, who has four caps, a second successive World Cup finals place.
Tunisia injuries World Cup 2022
Ellyes Skhiri: With 48 caps at 27 years old, Skhiri is a key piece of the Tunisia midfield. He suffered a cheekbone fracture that caused him to miss an FC Koln match on October 30, but started against Denmark while wearing a protective face mask.
- Omar Rekik (muscle): Out since Oct. 23 and was not picked in the final squad.
USA injuries World Cup 2022
Sergino Dest: The full-back has been a backup this season at AC Milan, but at least has seen the field more often than he did at Barcelona. He missed the match on November 5 with adductor fatigue but returned to start against Wales and England.
Weston McKennie: The midfielder was forced off at halftime on October 29 with a thigh injury and missed the subsequent match for Juventus. It momentarily threw McKennie’s status for the World Cup up in the air, but he made an appearance for Juventus off the bench before the break. Managed 66 minutes against Wales, 77 vs England.
Miles Robinson: Slated to start at center-back alongside Walker Zimmerman at the World Cup, Robinson went down with a long-term injury in May and will miss the World Cup. The Atlanta United turf has been a touchy topic after a number of his teammates also suffered injuries this past season.
- Luca de la Torre (hamstring): Out since Oct. 28, but was selected for the World Cup.
- Josh Sargent (calf): Returned on Nov. 6 and fit for selection. Played 75 minutes against Wales.
- Matt Turner (groin): Returned on Nov. 6, is on the USMNT roster and started in goal against Wales.
- Chris Richards (hamstring): Out since Sep. 11, he was ruled out of World Cup contention.
Uruguay injuries World Cup 2022
Ronald Araujo: The Barcelona center-back was injured back in mid-September, missing games for his club since then with an adductor injury. He was thought to be trending towards missing the tournament, but he’s made a miraculous recovery and has been included on the 26-man Uruguay roster.
Araujo had surgery in Finland on September 28 and Barca have an informal agreement with Uruguay that the defender will not play in the group stage, according to Spanish outlet AS, which also claims that the Spanish giants are concerned he may be risked earlier by his country, having taken part in training sessions.
Diego Godin: Diego Godin, now with Velez Sarsfield, has struggled for fitness over the past few months with a nagging knee injury. However, he appeared ready for national team duty, returning to club action in late October for a pair of Argentine top-flight matches. Played 90 minutes against South Korea.
- Mauro Arambarri (ankle): The midfielder has been out since Oct. 8 and is ruled out of the World Cup since his injury requires surgery.
Wales injuries World Cup 2022
Gareth Bale: He made his first appearance for LAFC in over a month, helping his team win the Major League Soccer title on Nov. 5 with a thumping extra-time header to send the match to penalty kicks. There was never any way he was missing out, and he secured a 1-1 draw with an emphatic penalty.
Joe Allen: The midfielder last played for Swansea on Sept. 17 due to a hamstring issue. He was ruled out of the opening match against the United States by head coach Rob Page but returned from the bench late on against Iran, unable to prevent a 2-0 defeat.
Rhys Norrington-Davies: A hamstring injury picked up by with Sheffield United on Oct. 19 ruled out the 23-year-old wing-back from World Cup selection. He would’ve been a lock to be on the 26-man roster.
- Tom Lawrence: The Rangers left winger had previously been ruled out of the World Cup, having last played in August due to an unspecified knee injury.