Bayern Munich defender Lucas Hernandez has been ruled out of the 2022 World Cup after tearing his ACL in France’s opening game against Australia.
Hernandez, 26, suffered the injury as Australia scored the first goal nine minutes into Les Bleus’ first match of Group D. He had started the game at left-back of a defence that also included club teammates Benjamin Pavard and Dayot Upamecano. Hernandez was replaced by his brother Theo as the defending champions came from behind to win 4-1 on Tuesday night.
“The doctors of the French national team have informed us that Lucas has torn the cruciate ligament in his right knee,” confirmed Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic the following morning. “We’re obviously all shocked and are very sorry. But Lucas is a fighter and will come back strong.
Hernandez has now returned to Europe and underwent successful surgery in Innsbruck on Thursday evening. He will start his rehabilitation back in Munich in the coming days.
France head coach Didier Deschamps also expressed his disappointment at the injury: “Like the whole group, players and staff, I’m extremely sad for Lucas. We’ve lost an important member of our squad. Lucas is a warrior and I have no doubt that he'll do everything he can to return to the front line. I know him well, he will have the courage, that's for sure. I wish him the best possible recovery on behalf of the group.”
Hernandez will therefore miss the remainder of France’s title defence, having started all seven of their games as they became world champions in 2018. He will likely also miss the rest of the 2022/23 season with Bayern once they resume their campaigns in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League in January. A torn muscle had already seen him miss 10 club games this term and restrict him to 11 appearances, but he did score a goal against Barcelona in Europe.
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