Sports, Football

Hernandez limps out of World Cup

Published : 23 Nov 2022 08:20 PM

France defender Lucas Hernandez will miss the rest of the defending champions' World Cup campaign after suffering a knee injury in Tuesday's opening match against Australia, a source close to Les Bleus told AFP.

The Bayern Munich defender hobbled off in the holders' 4-1 win over the Socceroos.

His absence comes with coach Didier Deschamps already grappling with a host of key players ruled out of the tournament in Qatar.

The 2018 champions lost star striker Karim Benzema after the Ballon d'Or winner injured his left thigh in training on Saturday. Also missing are Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante and Presnel Kimpembe.

"Honestly, it's starting to become a big deal," said France captain Hugo Lloris.

"We sensed immediately it was serious," the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper added after the match. "It's the latest blow but we have to continue moving forward. It's going to make us stronger."

Deschamps must now juggle his options as his squad is reduced to 24 players.

He had feared the worse with Hernandez when he told French broadcaster TF1 after Tuesday's opener: "He's going to do some tests, it seems pretty serious to me.

"We'll have to confirm anyway. That's the big black spot for tonight."