England brace for another huge World Cup injury blow with fears growing that Ben Chilwell TORE his hamstring in Chelsea's Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb... and defender could be missing for MONTHS
- Ben Chilwell went down with a hamstring injury against Dinamo Zagreb
- He had to be helped off the pitch and was on crutches after the match
- The injury is a serious one that is expected to keep him out of action for months
- With the World Cup less than three weeks away, his chances of playing are slim
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Ben Chilwell is facing World Cup heartbreak and also an extended spell on the sidelines beyond the tournament in Qatar.
Chelsea star Chilwell pulled up sharply clutching his left hamstring in injury time of Wednesday's Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb.
Chilwell, 25, was having the injury assessed today with concerns increasing that the left-back will be out for a significant period that would not only rule him out of the World Cup but for a significant period afterwards too.
Ben Chilwell had to be helped from the pitch and his World Cup dream is likely to be over
England fear Chilwell has torn his hamstring which would rule him out of action for months
The full extent of the damage has yet to be officially confirmed but concerns have emerged that Chilwell may have suffered extensive damage and a hamstring tear.
TV cameras picked up Chilwell appearing to tell teammate Mason Mount that he felt his hamstring pop.
Mount said: 'We don't know how bad it is but that was tough to watch. We saw his reaction and that never looks good. As soon as you feel something and to not even think about the ball, it's tough.
'We know what's coming up, hopefully it's not too bad and he can be back as soon as possible because we need him as well.'
The injury is a huge blow for Chelsea, England but also Chilwell personally.
Gareth Southgate will now have to look at alternative options to provide cover at left-back
He was part of England's squad for Euro 2020 but did not play a single minute of their run to the final.
Then Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Chilwell himself admitted he suffered a hangover following his non-involvement last summer. Chilwell described it as a 'mental fatigue.'
He was rediscovering his best form last season when he suffered a knee injury against Juventus in November that then kept him out for six months. And Chilwell is now facing another stint on the sidelines with this cruelly-timed hamstring injury.
Chilwell had been expected to challenge Luke Shaw for the left wing-back role in Gareth Southgate's starting XI at the World Cup, but the England boss will likely need to look elsewhere for alternative options now.
Southgate is already sweating on the fitness of defensive duo Kyle Walker and Reece James
The Three Lions already have a number of players with fitness issues ahead of the tournament, with Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kalvin Phillips all currently sidelined.
Walker underwent surgery on a groin problem last month, and is in a race against time to prove his fitness to Southgate.
James picked up a knee issue playing for Chelsea against AC Milan in the Champions League, and is not expected to be available until the latter stages of the World Cup at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Phillips has been out of action since September due to an ongoing shoulder complaint, but has returned to training and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is optimistic that he will be return in time to be considered for selection.
Kalvin Phillips is also a doubt for the World Cup, having not played since September
Since making his debut in 2018, Chilwell has been restricted to just 17 international caps, with injuries and misfortune playing their part in his lack of game time.
Despite being in the squad for last year's Euros, Chilwell did not play a single minute during the tournament, with Southgate picking Shaw and Trippier ahead of him at left-back.
Chilwell was also ruled out of England's final group game with Czech Republic after coming into close contact with Billy Gilmour shortly before the Scottish midfielder tested positive for Covid-19.
The 25-year-old went on to feature in three internationals after the tournament, but suffered a ruptured ACL last November, and has not played for his country since.
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