Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba could be ruled out of this year’s World Cup in Qatar with a knee injury he suffered in training, according to reports.
Pogba, who officially rejoined the Italian giants earlier this month, will visit a specialist consultant to determine what treatment is needed.
The former Manchester United star has been diagnosed with a tear of the lateral meniscus in his right knee after limping off the training field in Los Angeles last week.
The 29-year-old was expected to have surgery while in the United States instead of travelling with the Serie A giants as they continue their pre-season tour.
The 2018 World Cup winner, who only returned to Juve just two weeks ago, has instead flown back to Italy to see a specialist.
There are two potential approaches for his injury and one could see him miss the World Cup as it may keep the midfielder on the sidelines until 2023, according to La Gazetta dello Sport.
One option would be to remove a piece of the meniscus, which would rule Pogba out for 40 to 60 days roughly, but that operation is suited to younger players and could affect his mobility.
The other option would be to suture the lesion, but that could require a lengthy four to five months on the sidelines, and with the World Cup fast approaching in November and December it would seem unlikely that he would feature for France.
Pogba will now visit a specialist before making a decision on what approach to take with his latest injury.
In a statement issued prior to Pogba returning to Italy, Juventus said: ‘Following complaining of pain in his right knee, Paul Pogba underwent radiological examinations that revealed a lesion of the lateral meniscus.
‘In the next few hours he will undergo a specialist orthopedic consultation.
‘Therefore, in order to continue treatment, he is not taking part in the trip to Dallas.’
Pogba’s injury may also force Juventus into a rethink over their transfer business with a void to fill in midfield.
The Old Lady had been keen to clear the decks, with Adrien Rabiot and Arthur Melo set to depart, after already tearing up the contract of Aaron Ramsey.
However, should the results indicate that Pogba is set for months on the sidelines, the club may opt to keep one of the midfielders.