Paul Pogba after France's 2018 World Cup win. Liewig Christian/ABACA
Treatment Table

Knee operation plunges Pogba into World Cup race against time

The former Manchester United player joined Juventus in the close season.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 5th 2022, 7:59 PM

FRANCE MIDFIELDER PAUL Pogba will undergo knee surgery, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Monday, plunging into doubt his availability for the World Cup.

Pogba was a star performer as France won the 2018 World Cup. He injured his right knee in July, opting at that time against surgery in a bid to be fit for this year’s tournament in Qatar.

The former Manchester United player joined Juventus in the close season. The Italian club play Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.

“Pogba trained this morning but he stopped, and decided to go ahead with an operation,” Allegri said.

Multiple reports suggest a meniscus operation would take 40-60 days to overcome, with 76 remaining before the World Cup as of Monday.

The initial plan had been for Pogba to conserve his knee with aqua and gymnastic training. The 29-year-old returned to the training field on Sunday.

Elsewhere Kylian Mbappe has played down suggestions that his relationship with Paul Pogba could be impacted after his name came up in a blackmail affair engulfing his France teammate.

friendly-football-match-france-vs-south-africa-villeneuve-dascq-near-lille-france Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba. Jean Catuffe / Dppi Jean Catuffe / Dppi / Dppi

Pogba says he is the victim of a multi-million euro blackmail plot to discredit him by claiming he asked a witch doctor to cast a spell on Mbappe.

The claims about the witch doctor were revealed publicly by Pogba’s elder brother Mathias.

Pogba denies the accusation.

“No because today as things stand I prefer to believe what my teammate says,” Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe said when asked if there might be a problem with Pogba.

Mbappe was speaking at a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game between PSG and Pogba’s Juventus in Paris.

“He called me and gave me his version of events. It is his word against his brother’s word. I am going to trust my teammate,” Mbappe said of his fellow 2018 World Cup winner.

“I think it’s in the interests of the national team as well with a big tournament coming up.

“At the moment he already has certain problems and now is not the time to add to those problems.

“We’ll see what happens but I am quite detached from all that.”

A criminal investigation was launched in France last week into the affair.

Based on the findings of a preliminary investigation last month it will examine allegations — for now against persons unknown — including blackmail by an armed gang, kidnapping and membership of a criminal conspiracy.

– © AFP 2022

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