For Vincent Kompany, a trip to Russia in the summer appears to be a distant hope.
Constantly injured, the Manchester City defender is struggling to stay fit for more than a few games, and has already missed out on quite a few Belgium squads, leaving Roberto Martinez with a gap in his squad he needs to fill.
However, despite just playing nine times for Pep Guardiola’s side this season, the 31-year-old is still positive about his chances of making the World Cup, and so are his national team’s doctors.
Speaking to DH in Belgium, Lieven Maesschalck said: “I won’t go into the details of his medical record, but Vincent is still confident that he has chances of playing in Russia. I’m also confident. With his will, he can have hope.”
Injured against Newcastle on the 27th of December, the defender hasn’t featured since, and with Manchester City looking to strengthen their defence in January, his chances of featuring regularly during the second half of the season could be slim.
Yet, that could play in his favour.
Speaking to DH, Kris Van Crombrugge, the Belgium team doctor, said: “His last injury isn’t that bad. The problem for him is the number of games and lack of time to recuperate. A game every three days is too much for him right now.
“For the rest of the season, how he manages his game time will be very important, but he’s completely capable of playing a game a week. He’s solid and his clean lifestyle is impeccable. For me, he’s got a good chance of making the World Cup.”
With two staff members saying this, that’s good news for everyone involved, but while the idea of retiring from international football after a World Cup is ideal, Vincent Kompany could very well hinder his team at the competition.
What if he gets injured early in their first game and Roberto Martinez cannot call up a replacement?
That could easily be said for any player, but his injury history suggests it’s far more likely to happen to him than anyone else in the team.