After suffering a knee strain in practise, Christopher Nkunku, an attacker for France, has been forced to withdraw from the World Cup.
In a collision with Eduardo Camavinga during Tuesday’s practise at Clairefontaine, the 25-year-old was injured more severely and fell to the ground clutching his lower leg.
Before being lifted to his feet, Nkunku was swarmed by worried teammates and staff, with manager Didier Deschamps among those who came over to check on the RB Leipzig player. The French fans there cheered and applauded Nkunku as he hobbled away. Initially, it was said that the attacker did not think he had suffered a major injury.
However, France has officially revealed that the former Paris Saint-Germain forward has been forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing scans on the issue.
According to a statement from the French Football Federation, Nkunku damaged his knee in the collision with Camavinga. Les Bleus have notified FIFA of the injury in order to substitute another player.
“Injured in training on Tuesday, Christopher Nkunku must give up participating in the World Cup,”
the statement on fff.fr read.
“Christopher Nkunku will not participate in the World Cup. The RB Leipzig striker left the training session on Tuesday before its end, injured in the left knee. The radiological examinations taken in the evening unfortunately revealed that it was a sprain.”
“Didier Deschamps recorded Christopher Nkunku’s package. A medical file has been sent to FIFA, a regulatory prerequisite for the replacement of an injured player in the group since the list was filed on Monday at 7 p.m.”
“The name of Christopher Nkunku’s replacement will be communicated once the medical file has been validated by FIFA. The whole group shares Christopher’s sadness and wishes him a speedy recovery.”
France looking for a replacement of Christopher Nkunku
Nkunku joins a lengthy list of prominent French players who have missed games this winter due to injury, including Mike Maignan, Paul Pogba, and N’Golo Kante.
Axel Disasi was called up in Presnel Kimpembe’s place after Deschamps lost Kimpembe to an Achilles injury from which he has not fully recovered.
Nkunku was scheduled to enter the World Cup with two assists from eight appearances in a France jersey, but he has yet to score his first goal at the senior level of international play.
Deschamps’s remaining attacking possibilities include Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembele, Kingsley Coman, and Marcus Thuram; the latter was included as a 26th player earlier this week.
In Group D, France will play Australia to start their championship defence on November 22 before facing Denmark on November 26 and Tunisia on November 30.
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