France midfielder Paul Pogba to miss World Cup in Qatar

Paul Pogba, a midfielder for Juventus, will miss France’s World Cup defence in Qatar because he still needs to recover from surgery on his knee.

Pogba, 29, returned to the Serie A team from Manchester United in the summer but hasn’t played for them yet this year.

He suffered a knee injury in July and initially decided against surgery in an effort to recover in time for the competition.

On November 22, France will play its opening World Cup game against Australia.

In a statement on Monday, Pogba’s agent Rafaela Pimenta said: “Following yesterday’s and today’s medical review in Torino and Pittsburgh, it is extremely painful to inform Paul Pogba will still need recovery time from his surgery.

“For this reason, Paul will not be able to join Juventus’ squad before the World Cup break nor the French national team in Qatar.”

Pogba, whose last appearance for France came in a 5-0 friendly win over South Africa in March, returned to training early last month before opting for surgery, which had kept him on the sidelines until two weeks ago when he recommenced partial training with Juve.

Italian media reports on Monday also suggested that Pogba had sustained a thigh injury to further set back his recovery, while Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri recently said it was “very unlikely” that the midfielder would play for the club before the World Cup.

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