Karim Benzema may be available to France for their World Cup defence after all after reports emerged of rapid progress in his recovery from injury.
Benzema was feared to be unavailable for the entire tournament after picking up an injury but did not withdraw from the squad, and France manager Didier Deschamps did not call up a replacement, instead opting to take 25 players to Qatar.
Initially feared to be out for around three weeks, Benzema had been the subject of multiple reports in Spain which claim that the Ballon d’Or winner is ahead of that schedule, and he could return to training as early as this week.
Given he remains a part of the France squad, Benzema is technically still eligible to play at the World Cup and could return to Qatar if all goes well.
France have made a strong start to their World Cup defence with victories over Australia and Denmark securing their spot in the last 16 with one group game to spare.
Les Bleus play Tunisia on Wednesday to round out the group stages, before looking ahead to the knockout stages.