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World Cup injuries 2022 tracker: List of players who could miss out on Qatar due to injury

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup is the first World Cup 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.

MORE: Why is the 2022 World Cup being played in November?

World Cup injuries 2022

There are a significant number of injuries to track as the 2022 FIFA World Cup nears its inaugural match. Here are the biggest names who will miss the tournament in Qatar: 

  • Paul Pogba (France)
  • N’Golo Kante (France)
  • Timo Werner (Germany)
  • Diogo Jota (Portugal)
  • Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands)
  • Alexis Saelemaekers (Belgium)
  • Diego Carlos (Brazil)
  • Arthur Melo (Brazil)
  • Ben Chilwell (England)
  • Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona (Mexico)

And here are the most high-profile injury situations we’re monitoring closely: 

  • Paul Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina)
  • Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
  • Reece James (England)
  • Mike Maignan, Raphael Varane (France)
  • Florian Wirtz (Germany)
  • Kamaldeen Sulemana (Ghana)
  • Sardar Azmoun (Iran)
  • Raul Jimenez (Mexico)
  • Bouna Sarr (Senegal)
  • Dusan Vlahovic (Serbia)
  • Son Heung-min (South Korea)
  • Yann Sommer (Switzerland)
  • Ronald Araujo (Uruguay)
  • Joe Allen (Wales)

We’re tracking every team’s most problematic injury situations below (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 expected to be back by the World Cup and he’s on the final 26-man squad. With 20 caps to his name, the attacking midfielder is a key component of the Australia squad in Qatar when healthy.

Harry Souttar: The 24-year-old center-back suffered an ACL tear back in November of 2021. Despite only just returning to the bench for Stoke City on November 5, he also made the final 26-man squad, although his match fitness is another question entirely. He incredibly has six goals in his 10 caps for Australia.

Other injuries: 

  • Nathaniel Atkinson (ankle): Returned Nov. 6 and fit. Named to final roster
  • Martin Boyle (knock): Missed Nov. 4 match. Still picked for final 26-man list.
  • Cameron Devlin (ankle): Returned Nov. 6 and selected to final squad.
  • Kye Rowles (foot fracture): Returned Nov. 6 and fit. He’ll be in Qatar.

MORE: Australia’s final 26-man World Cup squad

Argentina injuries World Cup 2022

Angel Di Maria: Having already announced that 2022 would be his final World Cup, Angel Di Maria has struggled with a number of injuries this season, going down in early October with a quad injury, but he has returned to training and should be available.

Paulo Dybala: Suffered a torn hamstring on October 9 while taking and scoring a penalty. Looked initially unlikely he would be available for the World Cup, but recent reports have indicated he could make a recovery in time.

Giovani Lo Celso: He suffered a torn quad on October 30. Parent club Tottenham want him to undergo surgery, but player may opt to play through the injury at World Cup. His status is uncertain, but his involvement is looking unlikely.

Other injuries: 

  • Juan Foyth (undisclosed): Out since Aug. 28, but likely to be fit for selection.
  • Leandro Paredes (quad): Out since Oct. 21, but likely to return.

MORE: Projecting Argentina’s final 26-man World Cup squad

Belgium injuries World Cup 2022

Romelu Lukaku: It’s been an injury-plagued season for Lukaku, who returned from a hamstring injury for one match, only to go down with a quad injury on October 29. He will miss the rest of Inter’s club matches before the break, and his chances of being fit for the World Cup are truly up in the air.

Thomas Meunier: The wing-back suffered a fractured cheekbone on October 20. He is out of club action until the break but is “hopeful” of being available for the World Cup.

Other injuries: 

  • Alexis Saelemaekers (knee ligament): Out for the World Cup.

MORE: Projected Belgium squad for World Cup 2022

Brazil injuries World Cup 2022

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.

Lucas Paqueta: The midfielder, in good form at West Ham, suffered a shoulder injury on October 16, but returned to club action on November 6 as a substitute, and will be available for the World Cup. 

Richarlison: He has been out with a calf injury since October 15 and has yet to return for Spurs, but he was still added by Tite to the final squad.

Other injuries: 

  • 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.

MORE: Brazil’s final squad for World Cup 2022

Cameroon injuries World Cup 2022

No known injuries at this time.

MORE: Cameroon’s projected final squad for World Cup 2022

Canada injuries World Cup 2022

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 he’ll miss the German side’s final two club matches before the break.

Other injuries: 

  • 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.

MORE: Projected Canada World Cup squad for Qatar

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 is allowing him to rest for the World Cup knowing he’s not going to play ahead of Donnarumma. But it is one to monitor during the World Cup since he’s Costa Rica’s unquestioned leader and superstar.

MORE: Costa Rica final roster for World Cup 2022

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. He should be fit for the World Cup, which is a massive boost for the 2018 runners-up.

Other injuries: 

  • Domagoj Vida (muscle injury): Missed club match on Nov. 6, and his status is unknown.

MORE: Croatia projected roster for World Cup 2022

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.

MORE: Denmark updated squad list for World Cup 2022

Ecuador injuries World Cup 2022

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 will get a chance to show if he can contribute in a friendly against Iraq on Nov. 12.

Ayrton Preciado: The Santos Laguna forward missed the entire season with his Mexican club due to a leg fracture, but he too will get a chance to show national team boss Gustavo Alfaro how far he’s come against Iraq on Nov. 12.

Other injuries: 

  • 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. Would Gareth Southgate bring him to Qatar and wait for him to gain his fitness with the team?

Kyle Walker: Another critical England defender struggling for fitness is Kyle Walker who has been missing with a groin injury since October 2. He’s a true question mark for the World Cup, with Pep Guardiola saying in early November he’s still not sure when Walker will be fit to play. One to watch for sure as the World Cup nears.

Other injuries: 

  • Ben Chilwell (hamstring injury): Out of World Cup.
  • Kalvin Phillips (shoulder injury): Could return in time and is hopeful of inclusion in the final squad.
  • Emile Smith Rowe (groin surgery on Sept. 29): Out of World Cup.

MORE: Projected England squad for World Cup 2022

France injuries World Cup 2022

Lucas Hernandez: At least there’s some good news for France. Out for most of September and all of October with an adductor tear, Lucas Hernandez returned to action with Bayern Munich on November 5 and will be fit for the World Cup, barring any new injury setbacks.

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.

Mike Maignan: There’s a worry between the pipes for France as AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan is struggling with a calf injury and was ruled out of club action through the new year by head coach Stefano Pioli. There’s no word on his World Cup availability, and he should start over Hugo Lloris if included, but that seems a big question mark at this point.

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.

Raphael Varane: The Man United defender came off in tears in late October, and while he will miss the rest of the Red Devils’ slate before the World Cup break, he should be back in time for the World Cup. His status is not confirmed, making it a true 50/50 situation.

Other injuries: 

  • Lucas Digne (ankle): Returned to action with Aston Villa Oct. 29, and fit for selection.
  • Boubacar Kamara (knee ligament): Initially though to be out, but reportedly recovering faster than expected.
  • Jules Kounde (knock): Missed match on Nov. 5 and should be available for World Cup.

MORE: Projecting France’s final World Cup squad for Qatar

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 and should be fit for the World Cup unless any new issue crops up.

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, but reports have surfaced over the past few months that he could return specifically for the World Cup, and may be included in Hansi Flick’s squad. One to watch, as it would be risky to give Wirtz his first competitive action in nine months at the World Cup.

Other injuries: 

  • Armell Bella-Kotchap (shoulder injury): Returned to club action Nov. 6.
  • Thomas Muller (hip injury): Out since Oct. 29, expected to be fit for World Cup.
  • Marco Reus (ankle injury): Returned to club action Nov. 5.

MORE: Projecting Germany’s final squad for World Cup 2022

Ghana injuries for World Cup 2022

Emmanuel Gyasi: The Spezia captain is expected to sit out the remaining matches in Serie A and he hopes to be fit enough for Ghana’s participation in Qatar.

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.

Daniel Kofi Kyereh: The SC Freiburg attacker has yet to play for his club this month with a muscle issue. It remains to be seen if he’ll be fit enough to make the final World Cup cut.

Other injuries:

  • Stephan Ambrosius: A thigh injury picked up in the Nov. 5 match for Karlsruher will force him to  miss the World Cup.

MORE: Projecting Ghana’s final squad for World Cup 2022

Iran injuries World Cup 2022

Sardar Azmoun: With 65 caps at 27 years old, Sardar 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. That’s a race against time, and since he’s yet to return to action, his status at this point has to be considered doubtful. That would be a big loss for Iran.

Other injuries: 

  • Allahyar Sayyadmanesh (hamstring): Out since Aug. 16 for Hull City, and his status is unknown.

Japan injuries World Cup 2022

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. It’s still possible that he misses out, which could force Japan into a roster change before their first match in the tournament.

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. His status remains up in the air given the recency of his injury.

Other injuries: 

  • Takuma Asano (knee ligament injury): Out since Sept. 18 and his status is unclear.
  • Ko Itakura (knee ligament injury): Out since 9/11, expected to recover for World Cup.
  • Yuta Nakayama (Achilles tear): Out of World Cup, replaced by Shuto Machino on Japan roster.

MORE: Japan’s final World Cup roster for Qatar

Mexico injuries World Cup 2022

Jesus Corona: ‘Tecatito’ suffered a broken ankle in training with his club team Sevilla in August, and his manager says that the medical team will only clear him to train on Dec. 1 or Dec. 2, practically ruling him out of being with Mexico in Qatar. But El Tri have yet to confirm it.

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, and it’s still unclear whether he’ll be available for selection for the World Cup.

MORE: Projecting Mexico’s final World Cup team

Morocco injuries World Cup 2022

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 he’s talented enough to find away onto the final squad barring any fitness setbacks.

Other injuries: 

  • Ez Abde (muscle): Out since Oct. 23 and his status is unclear.
  • Tarik Tissoudali (ACL tear): Out since July 30 and confirmed out for World Cup.

Netherlands injuries World Cup 2022

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.

Other injuries: 

  • Marten de Roon (hip flexor): The Atalanta midfielder returned to club action for a cameo against Napoli.

MORE: Netherlands projected final roster for World Cup 2022

Poland injuries World Cup 2022

Jakub Moder: With 20 caps at age 23, the Brighton midfielder would be a likely contributor for Poland, but an ACL tear in early April likely leaves him on the outside looking in. He has not yet appeared for Brighton this season.

Other injuries: 

  • Robert Gumny (abductor): Returned Nov. 5 for Augsburg and will be fit for World Cup selection.

MORE: Projecting Poland’s final squad for the 2022 World Cup

Portugal injuries World Cup 2022

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.

Other injuries: 

  • Pedro Neto (ankle injury): Out since Oct. 1 and out of the World Cup.
  • Ricardo Pereira (Achilles tear): Out of World Cup.

MORE: Portugal’s projected final World Cup squad for Qatar

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. He should be fit for selection for the World Cup.

Senegal injuries for World Cup 2022

Keita Balde: One of the only 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 that he would be out for the group stage if included on the Senegal roster, making it unlikely that they would use up a roster spot.

Other injuries: 

  • 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. His status for the World Cup is unclear.
  • Bouna Sarr (knee surgery): He’s been out since Sept. 3 and is likely out for the World Cup after failing to play a single minute for Bayern Munich all season.

MORE: Projected Senegal roster for 2022 World Cup in Qatar

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, but missed another game on November 5 that raises a flag. It’s likely Mitrovic will play at the World Cup, but his effectiveness will be in question.

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. The expectation is that he should be healed in time for the World Cup.

Other injuries: 

  • Darko Lazovic (muscle injury): Returned on Nov. 6 after missing four matches and should be fit for the World Cup.
  • Erhan Masovic (adductor): The Bochum center-back has been out since Oct. 29, and his status is unclear.

MORE: Serbia’s projected 26-man World Cup squad

South Korea injuries for World Cup 2022

Son Heung-min: One of the injuries that could change the fortunes of a national team at the World Cup is that of Tottenham 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, it’s tough to know for sure. If he’s not, South Korea will find it nigh on impossible to replace his influence.

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. He was an unused substitute in La Liga action on November 5 and should be available for the World Cup.

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 returned to play 90 minutes on Nov. 6.

Other injuries: 

  • Dani Olmo (knee): Returned to action on Oct. 22 and should be fit for selection.
  • Mikel Oyarzabal (ACL tear in March): Status for World Cup selection is unclear.

MORE: Projected 26-man Spain squad for World Cup 2022

Switzerland injuries World Cup 2022

Yann Sommer: After suffering an ankle injury (torn ligaments) on October 8, Sommer’s World Cup status is in serious doubt.

At this point it looks unlikely that he will recover in time. The talented goalkeeper would be a big miss for Switzerland if he were indeed to miss out.

MORE: Projected Switzerland World Cup squad

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 somehow he returned just a week later thanks to a custom mask, and is available for selection.

Other injuries: 

  • Omar Rekik (muscle): Out since Oct. 23 and his status is unclear.

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 it shouldn’t keep him out of the World Cup.

Weston McKennie: The midfielder was forced off at halftime on October 29 with a thigh injury and missed the subsequent match for Juventus. It throws McKennie’s status for the World Cup up in the air. He’s a true 50/50 situation at this point.

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.

Other injuries: 

  • Luca de la Torre (hamstring): Out since Oct. 28 and likely out for the World Cup.
  • Josh Sargent (calf): Returned on Nov. 6 and fit for selection.
  • Matt Turner (groin): Returned on Nov. 6 and fit for World Cup selection.

MORE: USA national team roster projection for Qatar

Uruguay injuries World Cup 2022

Ronald Araujo: The Barcelona center-back was injured back in mid-September, missing since with an adductor injury. He’s attempting to recover in time for the World Cup, but it feels unlikely. Maybe he will surprise, but at this point Uruguay fans have to prepare to be without their star defender.

Diego Godin: The prognosis is better for defender Diego Godin, now with Velez Sarsfield, who has struggled for fitness over the past few months with a nagging knee injury. He appears ready for national team duty at the World Cup, returning to club duty in late October for a pair of Argentine top-flight matches.

Other injuries: 

  • Mauro Arambarri (ankle): The midfielder has been out since Oct. 8 and is ruled out of the World Cup since his injury requires surgery.

MORE: Projecting Uruguay’s final roster for World Cup in Qatar

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.

Joe Allen: The midfielder last played for Swansea on Sept. 17 due to a hamstring issue. His status is unclear though he was reportedly included on the preliminary World Cup list which was not made public.

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. 

Other injuries: 

  • Tom Lawrence: The Rangers left winger has already been ruled out of the World Cup, having last played in August due to an unspecified knee injury.

MORE: Projecting Wales final World Cup squad


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