Paul Pogba, a midfielder for Juventus, will miss France’s World Cup defense in Qatar because he still needs to recover from surgery on his knee.
Pogba, 29, returned to the Serie A team Juventus from Manchester United in the summer but has yet to play for them this year.
He suffered a knee injury in July and initially decided against surgery to recover in time for the competition.
On November 22, France will play its opening World Cup game against Australia.
In a statement on Monday, Pogba’s agent Rafaela Pimenta said: “Following yesterday’s and today’s medical review in Torino and Pittsburgh, it is extremely painful to inform you Paul Pogba will still need recovery time from his surgery.”
“Because of this, Paul won’t be allowed to join Juventus’ squad before the World Cup break or the French national team in Qatar.”
BREAKING: Paul Pogba will miss the Qatar 2022 World Cup. pic.twitter.com/BViTH2ApAx
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 31, 2022
In March, Pogba made his final appearance for France in a 5-0 friendly victory over South Africa.
After returning to training early last month, he decided to have surgery, which kept him out of action until two weeks ago when he started participating in partial training with Juve.
Pogba’s recovery was further delayed, according to Italian media reports on Monday, and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri recently stated that it was “extremely improbable” the midfielder would play for the team before the World Cup.
France will miss some key players due to injury
France has had bad luck with injuries thus far.
N’Golo Kanté, who has been out with a hamstring ailment and is likely their most significant player from the past ten years, is the most conspicuous confirmed absentee. This is the latest in a long line of injuries for the defensive midfielder.
Paul Pogba, who has been his partner in midfield for the past six years, will join him on the sidelines after missing all of Juventus’ games this season due to knee surgery. According to reports, he may have also experienced a setback in his recovery, and time is running short.
France will have to defend their trophy without Kante and Pogba in the midfield ? pic.twitter.com/FhnkjGKrtW
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 31, 2022
There are also issues at the back, with AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan remaining doubtful ahead of the World Cup. The man tasked with replacing him as No. 2, Steve Mandanda, came off injured for Rennes last week.
Raphael Varane should make it back in time from his hamstring issue and will likely be brought regardless, given France should be fine getting through a game without him, and he’s one of their key players and leaders.