Injury woes: Big names likely to miss FIFA World Cup 2018

Published: 10th May 2018 08:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2018 10:31 AM  

Russia will bring up the curtain for the biggest footballing stage on earth when they face Saudi Arabia on Thursday June 14. However, some of the prominent names of the game are in race against time to be fit for the summer. Don't be amazed if you don't find some of these men in their national colours in Moscow. (AFP Images)
Manuel Neuer  and Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Manuel Neuer (GERMANY): The 32-year-old Neuer has been sidelined by a fractured foot since September and is running out of time to be fit in time for Germany's opening World Cup match against Mexico in Moscow on June 17.Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has already confirmed that Neuer will not play again for the club this season. National coach Joachim Loew is still expected to include Neuer in his provisional World Cup squad, which will be named next Tuesday. The goalkeeper will have to work on his fitness at Germany's two-week training camp in northern Italy from May 23 to June 8 if he is to have any chance of playing at Russia 2018. Barcelona's Marc-André ter Stegen (R) is Neuer's most probable replacement. (Photo | AFP)
Dani Alves
Dani Alves (BRAZIL): Veteran defender Dani Alves faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup after his club PSG said he would be out for at least three weeks with a knee injury.The 35-year-old right-back suffered the injury playing in the French Cup final. PSG said in a statement that tests had shown damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. They said he will require 'at least three weeks of treatment before reassessing the need for surgery.' The injury is a potentially massive blow to Alves and Brazil, with national coach Tite set to announce his squad for the World Cup next Monday. (Photo | AFP)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (ENGLAND): Ox was carried off on a stretcher midway through the first half of Liverpool's 5-2 semi-final first-leg victory over Roma last week. 'The extent of the injury means Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss the remainder of the campaign for Liverpool, as well as the World Cup finals in Russia with England,' Liverpool said in a statement on their website.(Photo | AP)
Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil (GERMANY): Arsenal's high-profile midfielder has joined the list of German stars currently injured, but vowed to be fit for their title defence. 'It'll need some time, but I'm sure I'll fully recover in time for the World Cup,' he said. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had revealed before kick-off that Ozil was expected to miss the rest of the season with a back ailment. (Photo | AFP)
Laurent Koscielny
Laurent Koscielny (FRANCE): The veteran defender is 'devastated' at missing out on this year's World Cup finals after undergoing surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon. The 32-year-old is set to be sidelined for six months, bringing a sad end to his international career as he had planned to retire after the finals in Russia. Koscielny, capped over 50 times and a member of the France side that lost to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final, was carried off 12 minutes into Arsenal's Europa League semi-final second-leg defeat by Atletico Madrid last Thursday. His injury is a big blow to France coach Didier Deschamps, with his side to begin their World Cup campaign on June 16 against Australia in Kazan. (Photo | AFP)
Lucas Biglia
Lucas Biglia (ARGENTINA): The AC Milan midfielder could miss the World Cup after suffering a severe back injury during a Serie A match against Benevento. The 32-year-old had undergone medical examinations that highlighted a fracture of the transverse processes of the first two lumbar vertebrae. A detailed prognosis will be issued in the coming days upon completion of all medical tests. (Photo | AFP)
Alexander Kokorin
Alexander Kokorin (RUSSIA): Causing headache to the hosts, their trsuted first-choice striker Kokorin has suffered an injury to the cruciate ligaments of his right knee during Zenit St Petersburg's Europa League match. As a rule, it takes between five and six months to fully recover from ruptured cruciate ligaments in the knee, meaning Kokorin is highly unlikely to lead Russian attack on the home soil between June 14 and July 15. (Photo | AP)
Emanuel Mammana
Emanuel Mammana (ARGENTINA): Kokorin's teammate at Zenit, the 22-year-old central defender hurt himself a few minutes into a league match against Rostov in a nasty fall while clearing off a ball on a header and being slightly pushed by a rival. Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli had called him up for the upcoming friendlies against Spain and Italy. (Photo | AFP)
Lars Stindl
Lars Stindl (GERMANY): Stindl's hopes of a place in Germany's World Cup squad were dealt a serious blow when the Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder picked up an ankle injury in a Bundesliga match in April. He was helped off the pitch in the first half after appearing to severely twist his ankle, and was later taken to hospital for an X-ray.Stindl, 29, has made 11 appearances for world champions Germany since making his debut last June, and was hoping to be included in the squad which national team coach Joachim Loew will announce on May 15. (Photo | AFP)
Michy Batshuayi
Michy Batshuayi (BELGIUM): Belgium international Batshuayi was taken off on a stretcher late during his team Borussia Dortmund's Ruhr derby against Schalke in April. Dortmund later confirmed that the forward had suffered an ankle injury and will now miss the rest of the season. The injury raises concerns that he could miss the World Cup as Roberto Martinez's Red Devils begin their campaign in Group G against England, Panama and Tunisia. (Photo | AFP)
Jerome Boateng
Jerome Boateng (GERMANY): The experianced German picked up a thigh injury in Bayern Munich's 2-1 defeat against Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal in April.The German FA later announced that Boateng injured an adductor muscle in his left thigh, with reports indicating he could be sidelined between four and six weeks. Joachim Leow's preliminary squad, which can include up to 35 players, must be confirmed by May 15, and the final 23-man squad list must be finalised by June 4. (Photo | AP)
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