The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is only 30 days away, and most coaches are hoping that their key players will be available. Unfortunately for some, they will have to change their plans and possibly their strategy because they will be missing some of their best players on the biggest football stage.
Here are some of the latest major injury updates ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
The Portugal forward was stretched out in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday, October 16, 2022. Jota sustained a muscle injury which according to Jurgen Klopp could keep him out “for a long time.” He added that “he knew it when we carried him off the pitch. At that moment he knew already it was a serious one and it could be pretty impactful for his World Cup dreams.” Jota was expected to be a starter for his side who are pegged in group H with Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea. The 25-year-old has made 29 appearances and scored 10 times for Fernando Santos’ side.
The England and Chelsea star is expected to miss the Mundial after he sustained a knee injury which will keep him out for up to eight weeks. The 22-year-old picked up the injury in Chelsea’s 2-0 win at AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday, October 10, 2022. A statement from the club confirmed, “After consultation between all parties, Reece will now undergo a rehabilitation programme and is expected to be out for eight weeks.” He joins fellow England stars, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Philips who have all been ruled out of the tournament due to injury. Manager, Gareth Southgate will now have to explore other options such as Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier for the right-back position.
The 2018 World Cup winner has struggled with fitness in recent times with his last setback occurring in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham where he picked up a hamstring injury. The player has since undergone surgery and is expected to be out for 4 months for full recovery as reported by the club. This will be a major loss for Didier Deschamp who was counting on the midfielder’s experience and skill to take another shot at the World Cup. The 31-year-old played all seven of France’s matches in the 2018 World Cup in Russia as they won the trophy for the second time, having won it in 1998. France play their first game on 22nd November, 2022, against Australia.
The Argentine attacker could miss the World Cup after picking an injury in AS Roma’s 2-1 win over Lecce on October 9, 2022. The player who left the field in tears suffered an injury to his left rectus femoris (one of the quadricep muscles) as confirmed by the club after a scan. Manager, Jose Mourinho said “the injury looks very bad. I’d say bad, but honestly after speaking with Paulo… I think very bad”. In the worst case scenario, he is likely to miss the World Cup if he is unable to recover between four to six weeks with the Albicelestes playing their first game on Tuesday 22nd November, 2022. Winger Angel Di Maria and Joaquin Corea are all doubts for the Lionel Scaloni side.
The Uruguayan defender underwent successful surgery in September for an avulsion muscle injury which he picked up during the international friendly with Iran. Despite an undisclosed recovery schedule, reports indicated the player will be out for 3 months which will rule him out for the World Cup. However, hopes are high that he might recover ahead of schedule in time for the World Cup. “We all know how he is, he’s a warrior. If anyone is capable of recovering ahead of schedule, it is Ronald,” Barcelona head coach, Xavi Hernandez stated. The 23-year-old has made 9 appearances for the La Celeste since making his debut in October 2022 in a 4-2 World Cup qualification loss to Ecuador. Uruguay will start their campaign with South Korea on November 24, 2022 and later play Ghana and Portugal in the group stages.
26 players are expected in each squad for this World Cup after FIFA increased it from 23 due to Covid-19 and the timing of the tournament. The host nation, Qatar, will kick off with Ecuador on Sunday November 20 at the Al Bayt Stadium in Group A.
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