World Cup 2022: Which players will miss the tournament through injury?

World Cup 2022: Which players will miss the tournament through injury? Karim Benzema of France poses during the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 portrait session on November 17, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Image credit: Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

World Cup 2022 might be the most stressful yet for players sweating on injury recovery in time for the tournament. There are already high-profile misses, with plenty of stars ruled out of Qatar, with several world-class players facing anxious waits over their fitness. 

It's nothing new. The nervous few weeks before an international tournament are part and parcel of football cliche now but with domestic football having ended just a week before the World Cup commences, this is a more nail-biting time than normal. World Cup squads have had their limits stretched to 26 in order to cope with the added injuries, with head coaches presented with the agonising decision of whether to take crocked stars who could feature later on in the tournament. 

It's a strange time for all involved. Unfortunately for an ever-growing list, attention is turning to 2026 with time running out to get fit for Qatar. Here's the full list of everyone either confirmed to miss out on the World Cup or a doubt to be 100% fit in time for the tournament. 

World Cup 2022 injury list

Confirmed to miss the tournament

Diogo Jota of Portugal reaction after missing a goal opportunity during the UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 2 match between Portugal and Spain at Estadio Municipal de Braga on September 27, 2022 in Braga, Portugal.

Diogo Jota in action for Portugal against Spain in September (Image credit: Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

There are a number of high-profile casualties who are set to miss the tournament in Qatar: perhaps the biggest of them all, however, could be Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema, whose had his hopes of competing at a first tournament since 2014 dashed after a thigh injury.

Sadio Mané, has been ruled out of the tournament after picking up a tendon injury in Bayern Munich's match against Werder Bremen – he was originally selected by Senegal nevertheless – while Christopher Nkunku has been replaced in France's squad, now. Timo Werner is also set to miss out, as is World Cup final scorer of 2018 Paul Pogba, who has undergone knee surgery following issues that have dogged his Juventus return. His midfield partner N'Golo Kante won't be fit in time after limping off against Tottenham in August. Diogo Jota sustained a tournament-ending knock against Manchester City in the Premier League.

In the England camp, Chelsea full-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell have both been ruled out of the tournament. James had previously indicated (opens in new tab) he was fighting to get fit for the tournament – but now appears to have lost that race. 

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Confirmed to miss the 2022 World Cup through injury
PlayerNationClubInjuryPotential return
Giovani Lo CelsoArgentinaVillarrealThighUnknown
Alexis SaelemaekersBelgiumAC MilanKneeUnknown
Diego CarlosBrazilAston VillaCalfUnknown
Maxime CrepeauCanadaLos Angeles FCShinUnknown
Scott KennedyCanadaJahn RegensburgShoulderUnknown
Joao RojasEcuadorMonterreyKneeUnknown
Ben ChilwellEnglandChelseaThighUnknown
Emile Smith RoweEnglandArsenalGroin26/12/2022
James JustinEnglandLeicester CityKneeUnknown
Kyle Walker-PetersEnglandSouthamptonThigh26/12/2022
Reece JamesEnglandChelseaKneeUnknown
Tino LivramentoEnglandSouthamptonKnee01/01/2023
Mike MaignanFranceAC MilanCalf01/01/2023
N'Golo KanteFranceChelseaThigh18/02/2023
Paul PogbaFranceJuventusKneeUnknown
Lucas HernandezFranceBayern MunichKneeUnknown
Karim BenzemaFranceReal MadridThighUnknown
Christopher NkunkuFranceRB LeipzigFootUnknown
Wesley FofanaFranceChelseaKneeUnknown
Timo WernerGermanyRB LeipzigAnkleUnknown
Stephan AmbrosiusGhanaKarlsruherThighUnknown
Yuta NakayamaJapanHuddersfield TownAnkleUnknown
Tarik TissoudaliMoroccoGentKneeUnknown
Georginio WijnaldumNetherlandsRomaShin12/01/2023
Jakub ModerPolandBrighton & Hove AlbionKnee25/02/2023
Diego JotaPortugalLiverpoolCalfUnknown
Ricardo PereiraPortugalLeicester CityCalf21/01/2023
Abdullah Al-AhrakQatarAl-DuhailKneeUnknown
Bouna SarrSenegalBayern MunichKneeUnknown
Keita BaldeSenegalSpartak MoscowAnti-doping violation05/12/2022
Moussa NiakhateSenegalNottingham ForestThighUnknown
Jesus CoronaSevillaMexicoAnkleUnknown
Gerard PiqueSpainBarcelonaRetirement-
Kepa ArrizabalagaSpainChelseaAnkle26/12/2022
Chris RichardsUnited StatesCrystal PalaceThighUnknown
Luca de la TorreUnited StatesCelta VigoGroinUnknown
Miles RobinsonUnited StatesAtlanta UnitedAnkleUnknown
Mauro ArambarriUruguayGetafeAnkleUnknown
David BrooksWalesBournemouthThigh26/12/2022
Rhys Norrington-DaviesWalesSheffield UnitedThighUnknown
Tom LawrenceWalesRangersKneeUnknown

Doubts for the tournament

Harry Kane injury

England captain Harry Kane is to have a scan on his ankle ahead of the World Cup 2022 fixture against the United States (Image credit: Getty Images)

Canada took a collective deep breath when Alphonso Davies went down injured for Bayern Munich, though the Bavarians have now confirmed he should be OK for Qatar. The likes of Angel Di Maria, Richarlison, Son Heung-min and Dusan Vlahovic have all had injury scares but look set to compete at the World Cup despite recent troubles. 

Many stars look set to recover either just in time for the World Cup, just before the tournament or during the tournament itself. For England, Kalvin Phillips is yet to start for Manchester City since moving over the summer, though his recovery timeline aligns with the World Cup and he is not yet out of contention. His team-mate Kyle Walker underwent groin surgery following the Manchester Derby in early October and could now be fit. 

Harry Kane has had a scan on his ankle ahead of the game against USA. Joe Allen, meanwhile, is fighting "round the clock" to be fit for Wales (opens in new tab)

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A doubt to miss the 2022 World Cup through injury
PlayerNationClubInjuryPotential return
Angel Di MariaArgentinaJuventusThigh20/11/2022
Cristian RomeroArgentinaTottenham HotspurCalfUnknown
Juan FoythArgentinaVillarrealUnknown20/11/2022
Leandro ParadesArgentinaJuventusUnknown20/11/2022
Paulo DybalaArgentinaRomaThighUnknown
Ajdin HrusticAustraliaHellas VeronaAnkle20/11/2022
Amadou OnanaBelgiumEvertonAnkle12/11/2022
Marten De RoonBelgiumAtalantaHip20/11/2022
Romelu LukakuBelgiumInter MilanThighUnknown
Thomas MeunierBelgiumBorussia DortmundFace20/11/2022
AntonyBrazilManchester UnitedGroinUnknown
RicharlisonBrazilTottenham HotspurCalf09/11/2022
Alphonso DaviesCanadaBayern MunichThigh20/11/2022
Keylor NavasCosta RicaPSGBackUnknown
Domagoj VidaCroatiaAEK AthensUnknownUnknown
Andreas ChristensenDenmarkBarcelonaAnkle20/11/2022
Ayrton PreciadoEcuadorSantos LagunaShin12/11/2022
Robert ArboledaEcuadorSao PaoloAnkle12/11/2022
Callum WilsonEnglandNewcastle UnitedIllness09/11/2022
Kalvin PhillipsEnglandManchester CityShoulderUnknown
Harry KaneEnglandTottenham HotspurAnkleUnknown
Kyle WalkerEnglandManchester CityGroinUnknown
James MaddisonEnglandLeicester CityKnee21/11/2022
Boubacar KamaraFranceAston VillaKneeUnknown
Jules KoundeFranceBarcelonaUnknown20/11/2022
Lucas HernandezFranceBayern MunichThigh20/11/2022
Florian WirtzGermanyBayer LeverkusenKneeUnknown
Leroy SanéGermanyBayern MunichHamstring20/11/2022
Thomas MullerGermanyBayern MunichHip20/11/2022
Daniel Kofi KyerehGhanaFreiburgUnknownUnknown
Emmanuel GyasiGhanaSpeziaUnknown20/11/2022
Kamaldeen SulemanaGhanaRennesAnkleUnknown
Allahyar SayyadmaneshIranHull CityThighUnknown
Sardar AzmounIranBayer LeverkusenCalf18/11/2022
Ao TanakaJapanFortuna DusseldorfUnknownUnknown
Takefusa KuboJapanReal SociedadShoulderUnknown
Takehiro TomiyasuJapanArsenalThighUnknown
Raul JimenezMexicoWolverhampton WanderersGroinUnknown
Ez AbdeMoroccoOsasunaThighUnknown
Youssef En-NesyriMoroccoSevillaThigh20/11/2022
Matheus NunesPortugalWolverhampton WanderersShoulder12/11/2022
Pedro NetoPortugalWolverhampton WanderersAnkleUnknown
Saleh Al-ShehriSaudi ArabiaAl-HilalAnkle20/11/2022
Idrissa GueyeSenegalEvertonThigh12/11/2022
Pape Abou CisseSenegalOlympiacosHipUnknown
Sadio ManéSenegalBayern MunichKneeUnknown
Aleksandar MitrovicSerbiaFulhamAnkle13/11/2022
Darko Lazovic SerbiaHellas VeronaThigh20/11/2022
Dusan VlahovicSerbiaJuventusGroinUnknown
Erhan MasovicSerbiaBochumThighUnkown
Son Heung-minSouth KoreaTottenham HotspurFaceUnknown
Eric GarciaSpainBarcelonaThigh20/11/2022
Marcos LlorenteSpainAtletico MadridCalf20/11/2022
Mikel OyarzabalSpainReal SociedadKneeUnknown
Yann SommerSwitzerlandBorussia MonchengladbachAnkleUnknown
Omar RekikTunisiaSparta RotterdamThighUnknown
Matt TurnerUnited StatesArsenalGroin20/11/2022
Sergino DestUnited StatesAC MilanThigh20/11/2022
Weston McKennieUnited StatesJuventusThighUnknown
Diego GodinUruguayVelez SarsfieldKnee20/11/2022
Ronald AraujoUruguayBarcelonaThigh20/11/2022
Joe AllenWalesSwansea CityThighUnknown

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