Ben Chilwell adds to mounting list of England World Cup injury doubts
England’s preparations for the World Cup have been beset by injury concerns in recent weeks.
With three games of the domestic season left before the Qatar tournament begins, several Three Lions players are in a race against time to be fit for Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at those in danger of missing out.
As players we have to appreciate injuries are part and parcel of the game we love. My operation on Tuesday was a success and now I can concentrate on my rehab and getting back to full fitness. I will be supporting my team mates every day in any way I can. 💙 pic.twitter.com/BcwIAjkb8B
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) October 6, 2022
The Manchester City right-back has been out of action since undergoing groin surgery following an injury he picked up during the Manchester derby at the beginning of October. Both he and City boss Pep Guardiola are confident he can make Southgate’s squad, but, with no football in the best part of two months, there would still be question marks over his fitness.
Phillips was one of the stars of England’s run to the Euro 2022 final but his summer move to Manchester City has been ruined by injury. He had surgery on a shoulder injury in September and is still sidelined. He has played just 14 minutes of competitive action this season, so how far away he is from full fitness must be in doubt.
The race against time is on… But we won’t give up.
— Reece James (@ReeceJames) October 15, 2022
James compounded England’s right-back issues when he suffered a knee injury in Chelsea’s Champions League game with AC Milan in mid-October and was given an eight-week recovery time. He appears to be the least likely to recover in time as he is still wearing a brace, but the 22-year-old is not giving up hope.
The Southampton right-back would have been an outsider for the tournament, having only won two caps and not included in the September squad. But the injuries to Walker and James might have enhanced his chances of going. However, he picked up a hamstring injury against Bournemouth that looks like ruling him out until 2023.
Chelsea suffered more injury problems at full-back as the gruelling fixture schedule claimed another casualty in the shape of Ben Chilwell. The left-back, a certainty for Southgate’s squad, limped out of his side’s game against Dinamo Zagreb and boss Graham Potter said it did “not look good” for his Qatar chances. A full diagnosis is still expected but his place on the plane has to be in severe doubt.