World Cup 2014: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain NOT yet ruled out, with injury to keep England midfielder sidelined for two weeks
Oxlade-Chamberlain was injured during the 2-2 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday night
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has not yet been ruled out of the World Cup finals, with his knee injury sustained on Wednesday night likely to rule him out for two weeks.
The Arsenal man had a scan today which showed a strain of his medial ligaments rather than a tear. He is wearing a brace on his right knee and still hopes that he could be fit for the World Cup finals which begin for England on 14 June against Italy
"Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a medial knee ligament injury during the game against Ecuador," an FA statement read.
"The England medical team are continuing to monitor and treat the injury."
The injury gives Roy Hodgson something of a selection headache as he ponders whether to call up a replacement for the Arsenal youngster.
The England manager said: "It is very disappointing for Alex and the team that he sustained an injury. It’s too early to make any decisions about what happens next – it is only 24 hours since the match so we have to wait and see. In the meantime, Alex is having regular assessment and treatment. The England medical team is in direct dialogue with their Arsenal counterparts and we obviously are all hoping for the best.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain limped out of the 2-2 draw with Ecuador in a World Cup warm-up on Wednesday, after a fairly innocuous collision with Carlos Gruezo midway through the second half. Hodgson spoke pessimistically afterwards, as he showed a clear concern that the 20-year-old could miss the entire tournament in Brazil as a result.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain is the one that bothers,” he said. “His knee buckled under the challenge as the player turned into him."
Should Oxlade-Chamberlain recover in exactly two weeks, he would be able to face Uruguay in England’s second Group D match on 19 June.
The news comes as a blow to Hodgson who saw Oxlade-Chamberlain shine at the Sun Life Stadium, as England faltered to a draw with the South American sixth-seeds.
Under Fifa’s rules, a replacement can be called-up until a day before a nation’s first match, which in this case means Hodgson will need to make a decision on whether to stick with Oxlade-Chamberlain for the duration of the tournament in the danger that he could miss the entire campaign in Brazil.
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Both Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick are on the seven-man stand-by list Hodgson announced to provide cover for any injuries, with the latter the more likely to be called up despite currently enjoying a holiday in Ibiza with his wife Lisa.
But Hodgson could look at his squad and feel that he has enough midfielders to cope with Oxlade-Chamberlain’s absence, with Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan also ready and waiting for a call which would allow James Milner to return to his natural position on the right midfield rather than the makeshift right-back position that he was deployed in on Wednesday night.
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The other players to make up the stand-by list includes Everton defender John Stones, West Ham striker Andy Carroll and Toronto’s Jermain Defoe, while goalkeeper replacement John Ruddy is unlikely to be called upon unless something happens to one of the three goalkeepers currently in the squad.
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