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Maignan unavailable for Milan until January with calf injury

AC Milan's Mike Maignan is number two to Hugo Lloris in the France team. ©AFP

Milan (AFP) - Mike Maignan will be unavailable for AC Milan until January due to a calf injury, coach Stefano Pioli said on Friday, casting doubt on the France international's chances of going to the World Cup.

Goalkeeper Maignan injured himself in training on Wednesday while preparing to make his Milan return after picking up the same knock on international duty last month.

The Italian champions initially said Maignan would be assessed in 10 days' time but Pioli told reporters that the 27-year-old would miss the rest of 2022 for the Italian champions.

Serie A stops in mid-November for the Qatar World Cup and returning in the new year, and Milan confirmed to AFP that Pioli was only talking about Maignan's availability for the Serie A club and not France.

"We're sad about the injury because he is a very important player for us, and above all because he had been trying his best to recover," Pioli said ahead of Saturday's home match with Monza.

"We tried to assess the situation as best we could.Mike pushed to play as soon as possible."

Maignan deputises for Hugo Lloris for Les Bleus and was expected to be picked in Didier Deschamps' squad heading to Qatar next month as defending world champions.

Deschamps, who will name his squad for the tournament on November 9, has already lost midfielder N'Golo Kante who on Tuesday was ruled out four months with a hamstring injury.

He is also sweating on the condition of Paul Pogba, who has not played a single match for Juventus since re-signing for the Italian club after injuring his knee in the summer.

Midfielder Pogba, who is embroiled in an alleged blackmail plot, returned to partial training on Tuesday and could be back in action by the end of the month.

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