France star Kante out of World Cup after hamstring operation

LONDON (AP) — France star N’Golo Kante was ruled out of the World Cup on Tuesday after Chelsea said the midfielder would be out for four months following surgery on a hamstring injury.

Kante hasn’t played a game for his club or country since Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Aug. 14.

Chelsea manager Graham Potter said last week that Kante had suffered a setback in his bid to return from injury.

“The midfielder visited a specialist with the club’s medical department to explore the options for his rehabilitation approach,” a Chelsea statement read, “and it was mutually agreed for N’Golo to have surgery to repair the damage.

“Following a successful operation, N’Golo is now expected to be sidelined for four months.”

Kante, widely regarded as one of the world’s best midfielders, played a key role in France’s run to the World Cup title in Russia in 2018.

His absence is the latest blow to France’s chances of retaining the trophy, with fellow midfielder Boubacar Kamara already ruled out because of injury and Paul Pogba only returning to training on Tuesday after tearing his meniscus in early September.

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup

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