France coach Didier Deschamps has said Karim Benzema‘s reported return from injury to play in the World Cup is “not something that’s in my mind.”
Benzema was ruled out of the tournament in Qatar a day before it started after injuring his left thigh in training.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
Reports had suggested the Real Madrid striker could make a shock recovery in time to help France’s World Cup defence, but Deschamps said he was not thinking about that possibility.
“You’re looking for things,” Deschamps told a news conference on Tuesday. “It’s not something that’s in my mind, you know the situation.
“I spoke with Karim before he left, you know his situation and the time he needs to recover. I don’t know where you want to go with your question.
“I take charge of the 24 players who are here, even if [Presnel] Kimpembe has come and I’ve spoken with Paul Pogba [both players were also ruled out of the tournament through injury].
“I let you talk, debate, imagine. I’m not going to comment on things which do not concern our day-to-day.”
Benzema was targeting a first World Cup success in Qatar, having sat out France’s 2018 triumph while he was excluded from the national team.
Deschamps’ side won their first two games at the tournament to qualify for the round of 16, beating Australia and Denmark.
They will look to complete a clean sweep in the group stage when they face Tunisia on Wednesday.
France striker Karim Benzema’s return from injury ‘not something that’s in my mind’