Youssef Msakni: Tunisia forward will miss World Cup because of knee injury

Youssef Msakni
Youssef Msakni's injury will come as a big blow to Tunisia who face England, Belgium and Panama in Group G in Russia

Tunisia forward Youssef Msakni will miss this summer's World Cup in Russia after being ruled out for six months because of a knee injury.

The 27-year-old - capped 39 times - was injured during Al Duhail's 5-2 victory over Al Sailiya in the Qatar Stars League (QSL) on Saturday.

"Msakni suffered a cruciate ligament injury," an Al Duhail statement read.

Tunisia will face England, Belgium and Panama in Group G of the World Cup, which starts on 14 June.

Msakni took to Instagram to celebrate the club's sixth QSL title, and confirmed the injury.

"Thank God for this, but it's just fate to experience the unexpected. Congratulations for the trophy. Sadly this injury has denied me a chance to continue with my club and to play in the World Cup," Msakni posted.

Mskani finished as second top scorer in the Qatari league with 25 goals - one behind team-mate and Morocco international Youssef El-Arabi.

His injury comes as a significant blow to club and country, with Al Duhail still competing in this season's Asian Champions League.

Msakni has scored nine goals for his country, including a hat-trick against Guinea as Tunisia qualified for the World Cup after a 12-year absence.

Their match against England will be the second World Cup meeting between the two countries, with the Three Lions having won 2-0 at France '98.

The North Africans will face Belgium in their second group game, before concluding the phase against Panama.

Having qualified for three successive World Cups between 1998 and 2006, Tunisia missed the tournaments in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014.

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