Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss England’s World Cup opener with Italy after a scan on his knee revealed damage that could keep him sidelined for as much as three weeks.
The midfielder’s leg appeared to buckle following a clash with Carlos Gruezo as England drew 2-2 with Ecuador in Miami yesterday afternoon and although the 20-year-old was able to leave the arena without crutches he was immediately sent for a scan by a concerned Roy Hodgson.
Diagnosis in hand, the England boss will now have to decide whether he can afford to take the Arsenal man to Brazil or instead call-up one of his reservists.
There’s an outside chance he could make the other group games against Costa Rica and Uruguay but it’s still rotten luck for a lad who missed a large chunk of last season with knee ligament damage sustained on the opening day of the season and the tail end of the season with a groin problem picked up in the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan.
Fingers crossed he makes a swift recovery; to be this close to a major tournament and pick up a problem of this nature is the stuff of nightmares.