David Beckham has no chance of playing at this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa after suffering an Achilles tendon tear this evening, according to a leading sports doctor.
Consultant sports physician Dr Tom Crisp described the prospects of Beckham featuring in England's first Group C game with the United States in Rustenburg on June 12 as "non-existent".
"It's remotely possible he may be running in three months," said Dr Crisp.
"The chances of him being fit to play for England are non-existent."
He added on BBC Radio Five Live: "It takes six to eight weeks minimum for the tendon itself to heal.
"At the end of that period, he will have been immobilised for that length of time so will have lost a huge amount throughout the body, but in particular in that calf, which will have been immobilised completely.
"Therefore it would take many, many weeks to strengthen the calf and the Achilles tendon before he can load it properly and then he's got to get his fitness back on top of that.
"The Achilles tendon applies all the force of the calf muscle and is involved in running to a great extent."
Beckham was reportedly set to fly to Finland for an operation tomorrow and it is imperative for the injury to be treated swiftly.
"He needs an operation within a day or two," Dr Crisp added.
"Assuming it's a straightforward rupture, they stitch one end to the other."Reuse content