Kounde calms French nerves after injury scare

The defender, 23, thought he had suffered an “overload” rather than an injury, after being replaced at Mestalla in the 74th minute, with less than three weeks before the World Cup starts.

Barcelona coach Xavi said Kounde would undergo checks but at first sight “it seems like discomfort”.

Barcelona coach Xavi said Kounde would undergo checks but at first sight “it seems like discomfort”. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The defender, 23, thought he had suffered an “overload” rather than an injury, after being replaced at Mestalla in the 74th minute, with less than three weeks before the World Cup starts.

France centre-back Jules Kounde said he did not seem to have suffered a serious injury after being taken off with an apparent hamstring problem in Barcelona’s 1-0 win at Valencia on Saturday.

The defender, 23, thought he had suffered an “overload” rather than an injury, after being replaced at Mestalla in the 74th minute, with less than three weeks before the World Cup starts.

“I’m doing fine, it doesn’t seem like anything serious, (it is) an overload,” Kounde told DAZN TV.

“We’re on a crazy path with so many games, every three days, but we have to look after ourselves.

“I think there are too many games, but we are not in charge.”

Barcelona coach Xavi said Kounde would undergo checks but at first sight “it seems like discomfort”.

Defending champion France has mounting injury concerns ahead of the tournament in Qatar.

Chelsea’s French midfielder N’Golo Kante has been ruled out of the tournament because of a hamstring injury, while Juventus’ Paul Pogba is still a doubt after knee surgery.

Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane suffered a hamstring injury last weekend, while goalkeepers Mike Maignan and Steve Mandanda have also suffered injuries, with the former unlikely to make the tournament.

Barcelona’s Spanish defender Eric Garcia was also forced off with a groin issue in the game, while Valencia’s Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani was taken off after appearing to aggravate an ankle problem.

Earlier, Spain striker Alvaro Morata was substituted by Atletico Madrid at Cadiz in the 10th minute after his foot was stepped on and he could not continue.

The World Cup starts on November 20, with France’s first game against Australia on November 22.

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