Sadio Mane, a forward for Senegal, was informed on Thursday that he would require surgery for a leg injury incurred in the lead-up to the World Cup, therefore ending his team’s prospects of competing.
Mane was a question mark for the west African team after suffering a right fibula injury while playing for Bayern Munich in Germany.
“Unfortunately, today’s (Thursday) MRI shows us that the recovery is not as favourable as we hoped and we, unfortunately, resolve to declare Sadio’s withdrawal from the World Cup,” Senegal team doctor Manuel Afonso told reporters.
The forward has been essential to Senegal’s recent success and is thought to be Africa’s finest World Cup prospect.
His absence will hurt their chances of winning Group A, where they play the Netherlands on Monday before facing Ecuador and the host country, Qatar.
Mane has served as the team’s talisman, nailing the go-ahead penalty in the Cameroon Cup of Nations final in February and earning World Cup qualifying six weeks later. On post-game penalties, they defeated Egypt on both occasions.
The 30-year-old Mane has won the African Footballer of the Year award twice.