French midfielder N’Golo Kante will not return to the World Cup pitch, it has been confirmed, after the footballer suffered an injury that has ruled him out for three months.
A monumental blow for France coach Didier Deschamps, Kante initially picked up the injury during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham in August.
Chelsea coach Graham Potter defined Kante’s injury setback as “worrying” since he will also continue to miss the season with the club.
“It’s a setback at this stage of this rehab, which is worrying, but all we can do is get the right diagnosis, get the right consultation and try and help him get back to full fitness and enjoying his football,” said Potter at a press conference on Friday.
With doubt about Paul Pogba not recovering in time for Qatar’s World Cup, France will be absent of another irreplaceable defender.
Replicating a guardian on the field, Kante was a force to be reckoned with at the 2018 World Cup.
Covering multiple positions, Kante shielded the back line for the French in the seven matches he played in.
France will head to the World Cup without all three of its starting midfielders from 2018, as Blaise Matuidi will also not appear in Qatar.
Considered favorites earlier in the season, France will now have an uneasy road as they seek to return as world champions.
The Frenchmen will start their journey against the Australians on 21 November.