World Cup 2014: Southampton midfielder Jay Rodriguez ruled out of race for place in England squad

Injury will see Rodriguez out for six months

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The Independent Football

Jay Rodriguez faces six months on the sidelines after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, extinguishing the Southampton forward’s hopes of going to the World Cup.

The 24-year-old was in the running for a spot in England’s 23-man squad, having enjoyed a fine season with Southampton in which he netted 17 goals. Such form saw Rodriguez handed his international debut in November’s friendly against Chile, but his dreams of a place on the plane to Brazil have been cruelly dashed.

Rodriguez landed awkwardly during Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Manchester City, and Southampton confirmed he has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

“Southampton Football Club can confirm that, following his injury on Saturday against Manchester City, Jay Rodriguez has been diagnosed as having suffered a rupture to his anterior cruciate ligament,” a club statement said.

“This will keep him out of action for six months and regrettably means he will not be fit for selection by the English national team at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

“The 24-year-old has already been scanned and has met with a specialist knee surgeon. He will be having a routine operation shortly.”

Rodriguez looked understandably tearful as he was taken off on a stretcher, receiving a standing ovation by both sets of fans at the  Etihad Stadium.

Roy Hodgson, the England manager, witnessed the incident first hand. He has now lost another player to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, after Arsenal forward Theo Walcott earlier in the year.

Southampton director Les Reed said: “Jay is naturally disappointed, but is determined to get back playing for Saints as soon as possible.

“Everything will be done to return him to full fitness and deliver a speedy recovery.”