There is ‘big concern’ about Karim Benzema’s World Cup participation after the France striker pulled out of his first full training session.
The Real Madrid striker had just returned to full training along with Manchester United’s Raphael Varane, but the good news didn’t last long with Benzema having to leave the session.
RMC Sport in France report that Benzema ‘came out injured before the end of the session,’ and ‘concern is now high around the Real Madrid striker about his participation in the World Cup’.
Ballon d’Or 2022 winner Benzema has been struggling with injury all season, making just 12 out of a possible 21 appearances for Champions League winners Real.
The ailment has been a slight mystery though with it originally declared as ‘muscle fatigue’, but there was a conflicting view on the player’s fitness from club boss Carlo Ancelotti who said the medical team had given him the all-clear.
There were claims in Spain of ‘monumental anger’ that Benzema was saving himself for France, but that now looks to be unfounded with the striker clearly struggling.
The 34-year-old was already a doubt for Les Bleus’ opener against Australia having been training alone in Doha, but things could now be worse.
Commenting on the training session, RMC added: “While he seemed rather comfortable during the first fifteen minutes of the session, the intensity then increased, which his body obviously did not appreciate.
“He touched his thigh and kept away from the field for several moments, Benzema could have relapsed, to the point that the staff is very worried for the whole of the competition.”
Fellow French media giants L’Equipe added: “The nature of his injury and its severity are not yet known, but his injury is of a muscular nature, which leaves a big doubt about the rest of his competition.”