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Soccer-England winger Townsend to miss World Cup

Reuters

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April 30 (Reuters) - England winger Andros Townsend will miss the World Cup after being ruled out for up to 10 weeks with an ankle injury, his club Tottenham Hotspur said on Wednesday.

Townsend, who has five caps, will undergo surgery on his left ankle after picking up the injury during Tottenham's 1-0 Premier League victory over Stoke City on Saturday.

"Following further examination and consultation, Andros Townsend is to undergo surgery on his left ankle after damaging ligaments during our fixture against Stoke City last Saturday," Tottenham said in a statement on their website (www.tottenhamhotspur.com).

"The injury is likely to sideline the young winger for up to 10 weeks."

The 22-year-old started the campaign in sparkling form and made an impressive international debut in October, scoring in England's 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Montenegro.

Townsend, who has made 33 appearances for Spurs this season, continued to impress and he tormented the Poland defence during a 2-0 victory at Wembley, which confirmed England's place at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

But after early promise, Townsend's season tailed off due to niggling injuries and he has not started a Premier League match since Tottenham's 1-0 defeat to Arsenal in March.

His place in Roy Hodgson's squad also looked to be in jeopardy due to the emergence of Liverpool's teenage winger Raheem Sterling, who Brendan Rodgers hailed as "the best young player in Europe".

However, with Arsenal forward Theo Walcott already out of the World Cup with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, and versatile midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struggling for fitness with a groin problem, Townsend could have bolstered Hodgson's attacking options.

England manager Hodgson will announce his provisional 23-man squad, plus seven standby players, on Monday May 12 before confirming his final squad on June 2.

The World Cup starts on June 12 and England have been drawn in Group D alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, with their first match against the Italians on 14 June. (Reporting By Michael Hann, editing by Alan Baldwin and Justin Palmer)

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