World Cup Group Stage Injury Analysis
Mats Hummels (Germany): German defensive back Mats Hummels suffered a minor neck injury during training and will likely miss Germany’s second group stage game against Sweden on Saturday. After losing their first match to Mexico, Germany will need to pull out a win.
Samuel Umtiti (France): Umtiti suffered what appears to be a “charlie horse” or quad tightness when he was knee in the thigh while going for a header. Umtiti also suffered a knee injury a few days ago and has been limited in training. This is something to keep an eye on.
Andrew Nabbout (Australia): Andrew Nabbout suffered a dislocated shoulder in the draw against Denmark. Depending on the extent of the damage, Nabbout could be out for 4-8 weeks.
Dele Alli (England): Alli suffered a “slight thigh strain” in England’s win over Tunisia in their first game. It’s possible he plays in their next match, but he will be playing at an increased injury risk. Our Optimal Recovery Time is 1-2 weeks.
Neymar (Brazil): Neymar limped off the training field today during practice. He was favoring his right foot, the same foot he underwent surgery to repair a fissure fracture almost three months ago. Brazil claims that it is Neymar’s right ankle that is bothering him, not his foot, because of the aggressive defense Switzerland used against him in the first match. Either way, it’s not good news for Brazil to have Neymar at anything less than 100%.
James Rodriguez (Colombia): The golden child of Colombia missed the first half of Game 1 against Japan due to a calf injury. Rodriguez dealt with a calf strain in February, so this could be an aggravation of a previous injury. Our Optimal Recovery Time for a mild calf strain is 2-3 weeks. Colombia will need Rodriguez in his best form if the expect to make it out of the Group Stage.
Mouez Hassen (Tunisia): Tunisia’s goalie Mouez Hassen fell awkwardly on his left shoulder while making a save against England. He is tried to play through the injury but kept rubbing his shoulder and appeared to be in pain. He was eventually substituted out for Farouk Ben Mustapha in the 15′.
Armando Cooper (Panama): Armando Cooper exited the pitch against Belgium with a head injury. He was evaluated on the sidelines but was able to return to the match. There are concerns that he is playing through a concussion.
Park Jo-hoo (South Korea): Park Jo-hoo suffered a suspected hamstring tear in the 28′ against Sweden. Even a partial tear will keep him out for the rest of the tournament.
Nikola Kalinic (Croatia): The Croatian striker has been sent home from the World Cup after refusing to play against Nigeria due to a back injury.
Valon Behrami (Switzerland): Behrami exited the match against Brazil in the 71′ with a groin injury and should be considered questionable going forward.
Shinji Okazaki (Japan): An ongoing calf strain could force Okazaki to miss the entire tournament. He was injured in Japan’s final tune-up game before the start of the World Cup and has yet to train with the team. Calf injuries are often slow to heal, so it’s no surprise that he has not been cleared to practice yet. These usually take at least 2-3 weeks to heal, even the minor ones.
Johann Gudmundsson (Iceland): Gudmundsson exited the pitch in the 63′ against Argentina with a calf injury. It’s unclear at this time whether Iceland expect Gudmudsson to miss more time, but it will likely take at least a week for him to get back to game-shape. Gudmundsson also dealt with a calf injury in March, so this could be an aggravation of a previous injury.
William Kvist (Denmark): Denmark will have to continue on their World Cup journey without stalwart William Kvist. The midfielder had to be stretchered off the pitch against Peru when he suffered two broken ribs that resulted in a punctured lung.
Andreas Christensen (Denmark): Christensen limped off of the field in Denmark’s World Cup opener with what looked like a concerning leg injury. Fortunately the Chelsea center back was just dealing with cramps, and he should be ready to go in their second game.
Roozbeh Cheshmi (Iran): Iran will be forced to face Spain without Roozbeh Cheshmi after he suffered a muscle injury during training. It’s also possible he misses Iran’s match against Portugal later next week.
Mo Salah (Egypt): Salah was deemed fit for Egypt’s first World Cup match of the Group Stage, but he did not get the start and then was not used as a substitute. Medically our algorithm shows that his shoulder needs 4 weeks to fully heal, so it was the right move to save him for later in the tournament. He had barely trained since his Champions League finals injury, so giving him a few more days makes sense. Expect to see him on Tuesday against Russia.
Omid Ebrahimi (Iran): Ebrahimi dealt with a hairline fracture in his right foot in May, but it was a ribs injury that forced him off the pitch against Morocco. It’s possible to play through bruised ribs, but can be very painful. His availability is up in the air against Portugal.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Iran): One of Iran’s few players with an Elevated Injury Risk, Alireza Jahanbakhsh had to be stretchered off the pitch with an ankle/calf injury in Iran’s World Cup opener. He’s one of the team’s best players and without him, Iran will have difficulty making it out of the Group Stage. He’s questionable for Game 2 against Portugal.
Nordin Amrabat (Morocco): We already have our first medical controversy of the World Cup, and it didn’t look good. Amrabat went down with a head injury and received very questionable treatment from Morocco’s medical staff. They stood him up, slapped him in the face repeatedly and squirted him with a water bottle, clearly not how to handle a potentially concussed player. Amrabat was visibly stumbling around and unable to stand on his own. He needs to receive proper treatment for a head injury, and there’s no way he should be available for their next match. It’s time for FIFA to improve their concussion protocol and ensure that all medical personnel are properly trained.
Ronald Matarrita (Costa Rica): A hamstring strain will force Matarrita to return home and miss the World Cup. An MRI following training confirmed a right hamstring strain, and despite being “treated with physical therapy treatment, readjustment and medication” it did not improve, so they had no choice but to replace him.
Tarek Hamed (Egypt): Hamed was forced from the pitch in the 50′ against Uruguay after sustaining a back injury. He was diagnosed with a back bruise after further evaluation, and is not expected to miss any more time.
Alan Dzagoev (Russia): In the 22′ of the opening match of the 2018 World Cup, Dzagoev pulled up limp with a left hamstring injury. Dzagoev has a long history of thigh and hamstring injuries and we identified him as a High Injury Risk before the start of the tournament. Dzagoev is one of Russia’s star players, and without him, the team will have a difficult time pulling out even a few points in the Group Stage.
Pre-Tournament Injury Analysis
Diego Reyes (Mexico): Reyes was selected to Mexico’s final 23 man squad despite battling a right hamstring injury. He was unable to play in either friendly leading up to the World Cup and has now been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament. Reyes was expected to be a starter, but when his hamstring didn’t improve quickly enough, there was no other choice but to replace him.
Kylian Mbappe (France): A training injury threatened to end Mbappe’s time at the World Cup after defender Adil Rami tackled him, causing an ankle injury that looked pretty bad. Fortunately he is feeling much better and should be ready to go at the start of the Group Stage. Still, his Injury Risk has now increased slightly after the knock. The 19-year old could be one of France’s most exciting players in Russia.
Marcus Rashford (England): Rashford suffered an injury scare during England’s final training session, but the young 20-year old took to Twitter to tell fans it’s “nothing to worry about.” We don’t even know what body part was injured, so for now let’s assume he is good to go. While he might not make it into England’s starting lineup, he should be one of their most exciting young players.
Manuel Lanzini (Argentina): Lanzini won’t be available for the World Cup after tearing his right ACL during a training session while preparing for the World Cup. He will now undergo surgery and is facing a 6-9 month recovery.
Mo Salah (Egypt): It’s no secret that Salah suffered a fairly serious shoulder injury during the Champions League final when he was involved in a tackle with Sergio Ramos. It left him with a significant sprain that our algorithm shows needs at least 4 weeks to fully heal. While he is expected to play in the first game of the Group Stage, he will be at risk.
Kamil Glik (Poland): A shoulder injury will force Glik to miss the 2018 World Cup. Glik was injured just weeks before the start of the tournament and is facing a recovery time of at least 6 weeks. The injury involved damage to the structure that stabilizes the collarbone, and playing on it would have been a serious risk along with being very painful.
Neymar (Brazil): Neymar returned to action during a friendly a week before the start of the World Cup, and was even able to secure a goal in his 45 minutes of action. Brazil does not expect him to miss any World Cup matches, but his recently healed foot fracture make him an injury risk.