Another French 2018 world champion is injured and excluded from defending the title.
Lucas Hernandez, who started at left-back four years ago and played against the Socceroos in Tuesday’s opener, only lasted eight minutes in Qatar.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Hernandez goes down while defending in a Socceroos goal game.
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Just before Australia scored the first goal, he went down and clutched his right knee before landing on the grass.
The 26-year-old appeared to twist his knee while his leg was off the ground before Mat Leckie delivered the cross completed by Craig Goodwin for a shocking early lead in France’s eventual 4-1 win.
Hernandez was diagnosed with a cruciate ligament rupture.
“We are losing an important element,” said coach Didier Deschamps in a statement from the French Football Federation.
“Lucas is a warrior.”
While his younger brother Theo prepared to come on as a substitute, Hernandez received a few minutes of on-pitch treatment before limping across the field to go through the players’ tunnel.
“It’s never good when one of your team-mates leaves the field like that,” said France captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after the game.
“I think it’s an important injury. He’s not the first.”
Hernandez now joins Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, who were ruled out before Deschamps picked his squad, as standout starters in the line-up absent from Qatar 2018.
France also lost strikers Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku to injuries in training last week and centre-back Raphael Varane, another key part of the 2018 team, has not played for six weeks with a hamstring injury.
https://7news.com.au/sport/world-cup-soccer/world-cup-winner-lucas-hernandezs-devastating-acl-diagnosis-confirmed-after-injury-against-socceroos-c-8950408 Lucas Hernandez’s devastating ACL diagnosis has been confirmed after suffering a knee injury against the Socceroos at the 2022 FIFA World Cup