World Cup injury tracker: Full list of confirmed absentees and latest updates on Premier League stars including England quartet as Phillips and Walker called up while Chilwell and James miss out – Pogba and Jota absent

    The World Cup is approaching fast and for some of the planet’s best players, the race against time is on.

    Every star dreams of competing in the biggest competition in the world and with the tournament only cropping up every four years, footballers have precious few opportunities to build their legacy.

    Qatar are the hosts of the 2022 World Cup

    Qatar are the hosts of the 2022 World Cup

    With Qatar readying itself for football fans all around the world, supporters are hoping that they’ll still be able to see all of their favourites on show.

    For some players, there’s a big possibility that they may not be fit to feature in the World Cup as they tackle serious injuries in the weeks ahead.

    However you can bet bottom dollar that they’ll be doing everything possible to play on the biggest stage of all.

    Premier League

    Ben Chilwell – OUT

    The Chelsea defender is going to miss the World Cup after his hamstring ‘popped’ last week.

    Chilwell pulled up just seconds before the end of the Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb.

    As he was helped off the pitch by the Chelsea medical staff, he appeared to say to teammate Mason Mount: ‘It’s popped’.

    The 25-year-old was later seen leaving Stamford Bridge on crutches and a further scan revealed a ‘significant injury’ that will see him miss the World Cup.

    Chilwell appeared to tell Mount that his hamstring had popped

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    Chilwell appeared to tell Mount that his hamstring had popped

    Buyako Saka – IN

    The 21-year-old limped off in the first half of Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

    Saka was on the receiving end of a couple of strong challenges from Forest left-back Renan Lodi.

    After receiving medical attention to his ankle, the decision was made from Mikel Arteta to hook him in the 27th minute with Reiss Nelson replacing him.

    It led to fears that the youngster could be a doubt for the World Cup with the Three Lions‘ opener against Iran less than two weeks away.

    But Arsenal played down concerns Saka had suffered anything serious and he was named in the squad earlier this week.

    Saka is fit and raring to go

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    Saka is fit and raring to go

    Diogo Jota – OUT

    One player who will not be heading to Qatar is Liverpool star Jota, with Jurgen Klopp confirming that he was set to miss out.

    The Portugal international was carried off on a stretcher late on in the 1-0 Premier League victory over Manchester City last month.

    “Really not good news about Diogo. Yes, he will miss the World Cup,” said manager Jurgen Klopp.

    “A pretty serious injury in the calf muscle. And now the recovery starts, or the process starts.”

    Jota was stretchered off during Liverpool’s victory over Man City at Anfield

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    Jota was stretchered off during Liverpool’s victory over Man City at Anfield

    Kalvin Phillips – IN

    After being the main man for Leeds United, Phillips has found it tough since moving to Man City this summer.

    Having been limited to just 20 Premier League appearances last term due to injury, the midfielder has endured limited game time for Pep Guardiola’s side due to fitness issues.

    A dislocated shoulder back in September has extended this poor luck with injuries, with Phillips’ place at the World Cup being thrown into doubt.

    But Guardiola revealed that the midfielder is now back in full training and he featured against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.

    Gareth Southgate has now selected Phillips for the squad despite questions over his match fitness.

    The midfielder has recovered from his shoulder injury

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    The midfielder has recovered from his shoulder injury

    Kyle Walker – IN

    The Man City star has been selected for England’s World Cup campaign after doubts over his fitness following an injury.

    Walker underwent surgery on a groin which left him facing a six-week road to recovery.

    The 32-year-old looks to have overcome an uphill task to be fit for Qatar after Walker indicated that he was confident of being on the plane.

    Speaking on BBC 5Live in mid-October, Walker said: “I’m confident. I’ve been through enough in my career to know my body.

    “I’m well above what they thought I’d be able to do at this point.

    “I just feel I can do this. I am going to have to be patient with it. There will be bumps in the road but hopefully, come the selection, I’m included.”

    Walker is determined to recover in time to be in contention for a spot in Qatar

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    Walker is determined to recover in time to be in contention for a spot in Qatar

    Reece James – OUT

    The Chelsea full-back suffered a knee injury during a Champions League clash with AC Milan at the San Siro.

    The Blues released a statement on their club website that stated that James would be out for eight weeks, subsequently ruling him out of the World Cup.

    But while the odds were against the 22-year-old, James took to social media and suggested that he hasn’t yet given up all hope of being on the plane to Qatar.

    And the defender was been told he would be fit in three weeks.

    The defender took to social media in October and said: “The race against time is on… But we won’t give up.”

    He since told the Sun: “I need to keep working hard over the next few weeks and see where I am on call-up day.

    “I will try and not rule myself out. It is still slow and in the early stages.

    “I have been in rehab for two weeks, so I am still taking it day-by-day.

    “The Chelsea medical staff have not given me a percentage of my chance of being back for the World Cup.

    “It is down to how I feel closer to the time and how stable it is.”

    James did not make the England squad for the World Cup after Southgate was unwilling to risk selecting the injured right back.

    James is unlikely to feature at the World Cup, but has refused to give up hope entirely

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    James is unlikely to feature at the World Cup, but has refused to give up hope entirely

    Wesley Fofana – OUT

    The French defender also picked up a knee injury against AC Milan but this time in the home win the week before.

    It was initially feared the summer signing had sustained a serious ligament tear and would be sidelined for a much longer period.

    Fofana instead was ruled out for four to six weeks – which would leave him right on the cutoff point for French selection.

    The 21-year-old flew to Dubai with James to continue his rehabilitation but it remains to be seen if he recovers.

    Fofana was not named in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the World Cup.

    Fofana picked up a knee injury in the reverse match with Milan

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    Fofana picked up a knee injury in the reverse match with Milan

    Richarlison – IN

    The Brazilian forward was in tears after Tottenham’s victory to Everton as he hobbled off the pitch with a calf injury.

    Richarlison later sparked fears his World Cup dream was over after he was seen on crutches later that evening.

    But he later tweeted: “Guys, thank God it was just a big scare!! Two weeks and I’ll be back! Thank you for the messages and affection.”

    Spurs manager Conte later revealed when asked if Richarlison would miss the tournament in Qatar: “No, absolutely not.

    “No, I can confirm this, that the player is not risking to not play at the World Cup. Absolutely.”

    And the player has been included in Tite’s squad.

    Richarlison’s calf injury proved to be only a scare

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    Richarlison’s calf injury proved to be only a scare

    Emile Smith Rowe – OUT

    The England midfielder suffered a disjointed start to the campaign due to a groin injury, which limited him to just four cameo appearances for Arsenal.

    The 22-year-old’s last match was the clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford back in September, a contest that they lost 3-1.

    After what the club described as ‘a significant setback’ against Erik ten Hag’s side, Smith Rowe underwent surgery on a damaged tendon in his groin.

    The surgery was successful but means Smith-Rowe will be out for a few months and will not return to full-training until December.

    Smith Rowe has undergone surgery on a groin injury

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    Smith Rowe has undergone surgery on a groin injury

    Boubacar Kamara – OUT

    Both Boubacar Kamara and Aston Villa teammate Lucas Digne will miss the World Cup for France through injury.

    The 22-year-old midfielder sustained knee ligament damage in September that will see him sidelined for the winter tournament in Qatar.

    The three-cap France international Kamara was ahead of schedule in his recovery and returned to training but he has not been called up.

    Digne meanwhile is back on the pitch and scored in Villa’s 3-1 win over Manchester United, however, he was also not named in the France squad.

    Kamara is on his way back to full fitness

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    Kamara is on his way back to full fitness

    N’Golo Kante – OUT

    The Chelsea midfielder has been ruled out of the World Cup after undergoing surgery on his injured hamstring.

    The Blues have revealed that the France international – who was instrumental in Les Bleus’ 2018 win – will be out for FOUR months.

    Kante has been limited to just two appearances for the west London outfit this season.

    The 31-year-old hasn’t featured since the 2-2 draw against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in August.

    Kante has ensured a torrid time due to persistent injuries

    AFP

    Kante has ensured a torrid time due to persistent injuries

    Kepa Arrizabalaga – OUT

    Since Graham Potter arrived at Chelsea, Kepa has been one of Europe’s best goalkeepers.

    The Spaniard appears confident and has pulled off some incredible saves for his side and looked a shoe-in for the Spain World Cup squad.

    But he suffered a tear in his plantar fascia, which is located in the foot.

    The goalkeeper was not named in the squad as fellow Premier League stars David Raya and Robert Sanchez claimed their place.

    Kepa’s World Cup dreams hang in the balance

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    Kepa’s World Cup dreams hang in the balance

    Arthur Melo – OUT

    Arthur had hopes of forcing his way back into the Brazil squad after joining Liverpool on loan from Juventus on deadline day.

    However, things haven’t exactly gone to plan for the midfielder who has made just one substitute appearance against Napoli.

    And the 26-year-old was confirmed to be set for months on the sidelines after suffering a fresh injury setback in October.

    Speaking ahead of the 2-1 defeat to Leeds, Klopp said: “It’s a really serious injury.

    “He’s here. It’s a long-term injury and when he’s back, we’ll think about it again. I have no idea how long it will be but it will be long.

    “But at the moment, it’s too far away.”

    Arthur Melo was hoping to be given a chance to stake his claim in Klopp’s side

    AFP

    Arthur Melo was hoping to be given a chance to stake his claim in Klopp’s side

    Raphael Varane – IN

    France are enduring an injury crisis at the moment, with Manchester United defender Varane the latest to be sidelined.

    The defender limped off during the 1-1 draw with Chelsea last month and looked visibly upset.

    But the defender will be at the World Cup after he stepped up his fitness routine.

    Varane appeared close to tears as he left the pitch

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    Varane appeared close to tears as he left the pitch

    Armel Bella-Kotchap – DOUBT

    The Southampton defender had only broken into the senior Germany setup for the first time in September following his stunning start to the season.

    Yet his dreams of retaining his spot in the squad for Qatar took a hefty blow when he dislocated his shoulder in a 1-1 draw with West Ham last month.

    But after making a rapid recovery, he was named in the German 26-man squad ahead of the tournament.

    Armel Bella-Kotchap had impressed with his early season form

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    Armel Bella-Kotchap had impressed with his early season form

    Pedro Neto – OUT

    Wolves confirmed the Portuguese winger would miss Qatar following an injury he sustained in their 2-0 defeat to West Ham last month.

    The 22-year-old was in Portugal’s squad for the most recent Nations League games before he strained his lateral ligaments.

    “Following further evaluation and a specialist opinion this week, it is planned for him to undergo surgery,” Wolves added.

    “This means that, unfortunately, he will not be fit for the upcoming World Cup.”

    Neto has made three appearances for Portugal

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    Neto has made three appearances for Portugal

    Rest of the world

    Argentina

    • Paulo Dybala – IN
    • Joaquin Correa – IN
    • Angel Di Maria – IN
    • Giovani Lo Celso – OUT
    • Juan Foyth – IN

    Di Maria was visibly upset as he walked off the field with his World Cup dreams potentially in tatters

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    Di Maria was visibly upset as he walked off the field with his World Cup dreams potentially in tatters

    Belgium

    • Romelu Lukaku – IN
    • Alexis Saelemaekers – OUT

    Brazil

    • Diego Carlos – OUT

    Canada

    • Atiba Hutchinson – DOUBT

    Croatia

    • Marcelo Brozovic – IN

    Denmark

    • Simon Kjaer – IN
    • Andreas Christensen – IN

    Ecuador

    • Joao Rojas – OUT
    • Robert Arboleda – DOUBT

    France

    • Paul Pogba – OUT
    • Lucas Hernandez – IN
    • Presnel Kimpembe – IN
    • Jules Kounde – IN

    Injuries appear to be marring Pogba’s career yet again

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    Injuries appear to be marring Pogba’s career yet again

    Germany

    • Leroy Sane – IN
    • Thomas Muller – IN
    • Manuel Neuer – IN
    • Florian Neuhaus – OUT
    • Mahmoud Dahoud – OUT
    • Timo Werner – OUT

    Japan

    • Ryo Miyaichi – OUT

    Mexico

    • Jesús Manuel Corona – OUT
    • Raul Jimenez – DOUBT

    Morocco

    • Tarik Tissoudali – OUT

    Netherlands

    • Memphis Depay – IN
    • Georginio Wijnaldum – OUT

    Roma stars including Tammy Abraham paid tributes to Wijnaldum

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    Roma stars including Tammy Abraham paid tributes to Wijnaldum

    Poland

    • Jakub Moder – OUT

    Senegal

    • Bouna Sarr – IN
    • Sadio Mane – IN

    Mane’s World Cup dreams are hanging by a thread

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    Mane’s World Cup dreams are hanging by a thread

    Spain

    • Mikel Oyarzabal – OUT
    • Gerard Moreno – OUT
    • Sergio Reguilon – OUT

    Uruguay

    • Ronald Araujo – IN
    • Mauro Arambarri – OUT

    USA

    • Weston McKennie – IN
    • Daryl Dike – OUT
    • Chris Richards – OUT
    • Miles Robinson – OUT

    Wales

    • Joe Allen – IN
    • Tom Lawrence – OUT
    • Rhys Norrington-Davies – OUT
    • David Brooks – OUT

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