Striker Nicklas Bendtner has been left out of Denmark’s 23-man World Cup squad due to a groin injury that he sustained playing for his club side Rosenborg in Norway before joining up with the national team a week ago.
The 30-year-old trained separately and played no part in Denmark’s scoreless draw against Sweden in Stockholm on Saturday.
He tried to prove his fitness on Sunday but Norwegian coach Age Hareide later announced that Bendtner and defender Andreas Bjelland were ruled out of the final 23-man squad for the tournament in Russia.
Denmark face Peru, Australia and France in Group C.
“We don’t believe they’ll be fit in time for the first game against Peru, it’s too tight and that match is very important,” Hareide said in a video published on the Danish FA’s Twitter feed.
“Most likely, we are battling Peru and Australia for second place, and that’s why it’s important to get a good start, and we have to have fit players,” Hareide added.
The talented but inconsistent Bendtner, who has played for Arsenal and Juventus in a career beset by controversy, scored Denmark’s first goal in a 2-1 win over Cameroon at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Bendtner has made 81 appearances for his country, scoring 30 goals in his international career.
Denmark’s 23-man World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Frederik Ronnow (Brondby IF), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town)
Defenders: Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield Town), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich Town)
Midfielders: William Kvist (FC Kobenhavn), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo)
Forwards: Nicolai Jørgensen (Feyenoord), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Viktor Fischer (FC Kobenhavn), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux)