Jay Rodriguez’s World Cup dream in doubt

Injury blow: Jay Rodriguez is stretchered off at Manchester City
Injury blow: Jay Rodriguez is stretchered off at Manchester City
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Former Clarets striker Jay Rodriguez’s hopes of making the England squad for the World Cup appear over after suffering a bad knee injury on Saturday.

The Southampton frontman - named in Roy Hodgson’s last two national squads - was stretchered off in Saints’ 4-1 defeat at Manchester City with what looks to be serious knee ligament damage.

Rodriguez collapsed in pain midway through the first half after landing awkwardly, after stretching to control the ball near the halfway line, with no-one in immediate proximity.

His left ankle appeared to give way, before he fell on his right leg, and stayed down clutching his knee.

The 24-year-old former Barden High School pupil was pushing hard for inclusion for Brazil, with 15 Premier League goals, and 17 in all competitions this season, including one in a 4-3 win over the Clarets in the FA Cup at St Mary’s in January.

Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “We do not know the extent of the problem yet because we have not completed an assessment, but it is not looking good.

“All the players are really upset, they can see how severe the injury is.”

Rodriguez won his first cap for his country as a starter at Wembley in a 2-0 defeat against Chile in November, and was an unused substitute against Germany and Denmark.

Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge is the only English player with more Premier League goals this season, and Rodriguez was an outside bet to make the World Cup squad, along with Southampton team-mates Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw.

He scored 31 goals in 105 appearances for his hometown team before making a £7m switch to Southampton - a Burnley record sale - in the summer of 2012.

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