England's Oxlade-Chamberlain to miss 10 to 21 days, World Cup in doubt

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The latest injury concern for the World Cup is England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Arsenal midfielder sustained a lower leg injury during Wednesday’s friendly against Ecuador, suffering the injury during a tackle with Carlos Gruezo. Despite initial fears that there might have been ligament damage, The Guardian reports that a scan revealed the injury to be a strain on Thursday. He is expected to miss 10 to 21 days, but is hopeful that he will be able to remain on the England World Cup squad.

According to The Guardian, England manager Roy Hodgson is expected to take his time before making a decision:

The England manager can take the injured player to Brazil and call up a replacement at any point until 24 hours before England's opening Group E game against Italy in Manaus on 14 June if his rehabilitation is slower than anticipated. The national squad still includes John Stones and Jon Flanagan, neither of whom were named in the World Cup 23, with both having undertaken the FA's grueling specialist training schedule in Portugal and Miami to ensure they could be acclimatised and ready to step up if required.

Hodgson told media on Wednesday that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s knee “buckled under the challenge” and he was not entirely optimistic about Oxlade-Chamberlain’s health going forward.

Oxlade-Chamberlain can play any position across the midfield, although he only made six Premier League starts for Arsenal this past season. England has the midfield depth to overcome a potential loss of Oxlade-Chamberlain, but his pace down the flanks could have provided a weapon late in games or to provide width. Southampton’s Adam Lallana and Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling could start in the wide midfield positions, with Manchester City’s James Milner also an option. Everton’s Ross Barkley has shown flashes in the pre-World Cup friendlies too.

England is in Group D with Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica.

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