Alphonso Davies’ hamstring strain is not as serious as feared

Alphonso Davies is Canada’s best player. But now he appears doubtful for the World Cup. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Alphonso Davis spread his femoral snow, and grimaced as he limped out of Bayern Munich’s match against Hertha Berlin on Saturday. He grimaced in physical pain, and perhaps immediate disappointment. But his injury, and others this fall, is about something bigger: the World Cup, which starts in two weeks – and which, Davis and Canada fear, may start without him.

On Sunday, the diagnosis brought relief: Davies will miss two games against Bayern, but “the Canadian international’s participation in the World Cup in Qatar is not in jeopardy,” his team said. For others, however, the news was more serious. N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba will miss the tournament. In recent days, Ben Chilwell and Timo Werner is sent offand Son Heung-Min was ruled doubtful.

They, and a handful of others, have made it through the unprecedented timing of this World Cup. Forced out of its traditional summer season due to Qatar’s menacing heat, it will start just a week after the European seasons are suspended, rather than a month after they end.

His looming presence on the calendars, combined with the constant possibility of injury, has lingered on players’ minds. “Obviously you try and do everything you can to prevent an injury,” American midfielder Weston McKenney said in September. “But I don’t think anybody here is going to play less aggressive or play safe whenever we’re in our teams.” They have no choice but to go boring, often twice a week as the tournament approaches.

And of course, some have suffered — including McKennie, who injured his quad on Oct. 29 and faces a race against time to be fit for the Americans’ Nov. 21 opener.

Below is an incomplete list of the most notable players suspended or doubtful for the 2022 World Cup. It will be updated as the roster deadline (November 14) and kickoff (November 20) approaches.

Players who will miss the World Cup due to injury

Jesús “Tecatito” Corona, MexicoThe Mexican Football Federation confirmed on Tuesday what the fans El Tri fear: Corona has still not recovered from the devastating leg injury he suffered in August and will not make the squad in Qatar.

N’Golo Kante, France — The superhuman midfielder strained his hamstring in August and then aggravated the injury after returning to training in October. He underwent surgery, and will be out for 3-4 months.

Paul Pogba, France — France’s midfield maestro suffered a meniscus injury in July. At first he chose not to have surgery, but later, in consultation with doctors, he realized that he needed it. As of mid-October, he appeared on track to recover just in time for Qatar, but his recovery has reportedly been interrupted by a muscle injury. With doubts swirling, his agent ended any remaining hopes of a miraculous comeback.

Timo Werner, Germany — Werner was possibly Germany’s main striker. But he injured his ankle playing in the Champions League for RB Leipzig, and the The club says he will miss the rest of the year.

Georginio Wijnaldum, Netherlands — Wijnaldum broke his tibia in August, leaving a hole in the Dutch midfield.

Diogo Jota, Portugal — Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed on October 18 that Jota, who could have started for Portugal in Qatar, will miss the World Cup after sustaining a calf injury in stoppage time against Man City.

Ben Chilwell, England — Chilwell tore his hamstring on Wednesday in the Champions League. Chelsea confirmed on Saturday that they will miss out on Qatar.

Pedro Neto, Portugal — The Wolves winger injured his ankle ligaments in early October.

Boubacar Kamara, France — Karmara would be a potential replacement for Kante for France. But a A knee ligament injury ruled him out of the World Cup.

Miles Robinson, United States — Robinson had established himself as the starting center back for the USA. He then tore his Achilles tendon in May.

Sam Vines, United States — Vines was a fringe roster prospect at best. Now it isn’t. He announced on Saturday that he had broken his tibia and will be out for 3-4 months.

Injured players who are doubtful for the World Cup

Son Heung-min, South Korea — Tottenham have confirmed that the South Korean forward suffered a fracture around his left eye during Tuesday’s win over Marseille. He had surgery a few days later. There is no timetable for his return.

Romelu Lukaku, Belgium — Lukaku was returning from a hamstring injury, only to suffer another hamstring injury shortly after his return. He hasn’t started a game since August.

Raphaël Varane, France — The diagnosis was a hamstring injury that will sideline Varane for 3-4 weeks. And it will leave French coach Didier Deschamps with a very difficult choice. If fit, Varane could start at centre-back. But that’s now a big “if.”

Reece James, England — James, likely to start at right-back for England, hurt his knee playing for Chelsea in October and will miss about two months. His coach, Graham Potter, has not ruled him out for the World Cup outright, but James will almost certainly not be in Qatar.

Kyle Walker, England — Walker, another of England’s many right-backs, had groin surgery in early October. He hopes to be fit by the end of November, but is in a race against time.

Kalvin Phillips, England — Phillips started for England at last summer’s Euros but has struggled with a number of injuries since then. He opted to undergo shoulder surgery earlier this autumn and has not played for Manchester City since. The club have expressed optimism that he will return soon, but remains a doubt in a few weeks.

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, Mexico — Tecatito broke his leg in training with Sevilla in August. Most assumed he would miss Qatar. But El Tri has hope: manager Tata Martino included Corona on a 31-man provisional roster in late October.

Raul Jimenez, Mexico — Jimenez had many years of injuries. He, like Corona, is on the provisional 31-man roster but looks increasingly doubtful for Qatar.

Sardar Azmoun, Iran — Bayer Leverkusen said Azmoun, one of Iran’s star strikers, “is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks” after tearing a calf muscle on Oct. 4. he rehabbed in Dubai. His World Cup status is uncertain.

Ronald Araujo, Uruguay — The Barcelona defender is considered doubtful after tearing a thigh muscle while playing for Uruguay on September 23. He underwent surgery in Finland the following week. He is expected to be sidelined until the new year, but neither club nor country have given a specific timetable.

Pepe, Portugal — The 39-year-old centre-back was, despite his age, still a potential starter for Portugal. But he left with a sprained knee and a timely recovery for Qatar looks increasingly unlikely.

This page will be updated with any further injury news over the next month.

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