Tunisia star Msakni out for 10 days with injury and will miss friendlies

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Nigeria
Tunisia's Youssef Msakni injured and out for 10 days
Tunisia will have to do without its star Youssef Msakni for friendlies

Tunisia international forward Youssef Msakni will miss this month's friendlies against Iran and Costa Rica after being ruled out for 10 days with a knee injury.

The 27-year-old suffered the problem after scoring twice for Al Duhail during Saturday's 4-2 victory at Al Markhiya in the Qatar Stars League.

The Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) confirmed the news in a statement.

"Msakni felt a strong pain at the end of the last game he played in Qatar. An MRI scan in Doha revealed a problem with the meniscus. He was treated the next day and will rest for 10 days.external-link"

"For this reason he will miss the next two international matches against Iran and Costa Rica."

The in-form Msakni, who has scored 22 goals in 22 appearances for his club this season, found the back of the net three times as Tunisia sealed qualification to the World Cup finals after a 12-year absence.

His absence comes as a huge setback for coach Nabil Maaloul who is keen to get his Carthage Eagles squad into shape before their 2018 World Cup opening match against England on 18 June.

Tunisia's match against England will be the second World Cup meeting between the two countries after they lost the first 2-0 to the Three Lions at France '98.

The North Africans will face Belgium in their second group game, with Panama completing Group G.

Campaigners at three successive Fifa World Cups between 1998 and 2006, Tunisia missed the tournaments in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil 2014.

The 2004 African champions topped a tricky qualifying group containing DR Congo, Guinea and Libya to seal their place in Russia.

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