June 1, 2018 / 10:54 AM / 3 months ago

Tunisia concern over striker Khazri's fitness for World Cup

(Reuters) - Tunisia’s highly-rated attacker Wahbi Khazri will sit out a second successive World Cup warm-up match on Friday, raising concerns over his readiness for this month’s tournament in Russia.

Soccer Football - International Friendly - Tunisia vs Costa Rica - Allianz Riviera, Nice, France - March 27, 2018 Tunisia's Wahbi Khazri celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

The Stade Rennes forward, on loan from English side Sunderland, is regarded as key to Tunisia’s hopes of making an impact in Russia, where they face Belgium, England and Panama in Group G.

However, national team officials said that a thigh muscle strain means Khazri will sit out Friday’s international against Turkey in Geneva after he also missed the 2-2 draw with Portugal in Braga on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old has been training apart from the rest of the squad at their base in Lausanne, Switzerland, officials added.

He has not played since the end of April, missing Rennes’ last three games of the Ligue 1 season.

The North African nation play Spain in their final warm-up friendly next Saturday.

Tunisia have already been hit by injuries to creative winger Youssef Msakni and striker Taha Yassine Khenissi, who will both miss the World Cup which begins on June 14.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Johannesburg; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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