France midfielder Paul Pogba will miss the World Cup due to ongoing knee problems.
Pogba returned to training with Juventus only this month following surgery on his right knee in early September.
He hasn’t played since returning to Juventus from Manchester United and was injured again. Tests in Turin and Pittsburgh confirmed the 29-year-old Pogba will not be fit in time for the World Cup.
A Juventus spokesman told reporters on Monday that Pogba won’t be available for now until 2023 after the world cup.
His agent, Rafaela Pimenta also confirmed his absence.
The Blues will now heavily depend on the likes of Madrid’s Karim Benzema and PSG strike Kylian Mbappe to defend their trophy.
“After medical exams yesterday and today, it is extremely painful to announce that Paul Pogba needs more rehabilitation after his operation,” she said.
“For that reason, Paul can’t be part of the France team in Qatar.”
Pogba underwent surgery after tearing his meniscus during Juventus’ preseason tour of the United States in July — having rejoined the Italian club two weeks earlier from Manchester United to much fanfare.
However, it has been a rough period for him since. He has also been mired in an extortion scandal involving his older brother and childhood friends.
Pogba last played in an official match in April.
Defending champion France opens in Qatar against Australia on Nov. 22. Denmark and Tunisia are also in Group D.
France coach Didier Deschamps is slated to announce his squad in 10 days, on Nov. 9.
France will be without its 2018 World Cup-winning midfield as Chelsea's N’Golo Kanté is out for several months after surgery on a hamstring injury.