ENgland boss Gareth Southgates plans for the World Cup have suffered a blow after Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was ruled out of the competition due to a knee injury.
The 24-year-old, who joined the Reds from Arsenal for £35m in the summer, was stretchered off 15 minutes into Liverpools Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma on Tuesday.
A scan yesterday revealed Oxlade-Chamberlain had suffered knee ligament damage, while Liverpool have confirmed there is “no specific timescale” for his return to action.
“The extent of the injury means Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss the remainder of the campaign for Liverpool, as well as the World Cup in Russia with England,” read a statement.
“Oxlade-Chamerlain will now begin a rehabilitation programme to enable him to reach full fitness again as soon as possible, returning to action next season.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain was expected to be included in Southgates travelling party for World Cup, which starts on 14 June, after making 41 appearances in all competitions for the Merseysiders this term.
Southgate will now be forced into a rethink having suggested during Sundays Professional Footballers Association awards that he knew the vast majority of names he intended to take to Russia.