A fortnight ago, Andros Townsend’s dreams of representing England at the World Cup Finals in Brazil were shattered when an injury he picked up at Stoke City required surgery. Now, on the day the England manager, Roy Hodgson, named his squad, Kyle Walker had to admit defeat and accept the disappointment of also missing out on the World Cup with injury. Walker has not played for Tottenham since the defeat by Benfica in the Europa League in mid-March. He was substituted in that game with 14 minutes to play but so badly hit by injury were Spurs that Walker was named among the substitutes for the game against Arsenal even though he wasn’t fit enough to play.
In a season when injuries have been an ever-present with Tottenham, the injury jinx continues to play it’s part as Kyle Walker, like team mate, Andros Townsend, missed selection for the England World Cup squad.
Since then the right back had been targeting a return to fitness in time for the World Cup with hopes that he would have been fit enough to play in last Sunday’s game against Aston Villa.
With Walker not having returned to training, that goal wasn’t met and so his pelvic injury was assessed by the England medical team before the manager would announce his squad. It has been their decision that he would not have a chance of recovering in time to play a part in the World Cup.
Clearly disappointed to have missed out, Walker tweeted,
Gutted to miss the World Cup because of my injury. I'm still a few weeks away from being fit so I understand why the gaffer has left me out
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 12, 2014
England have been caught out in the past when naming players who were struggling with injury in their squad, only for them to break down early in the competition. Ledley King is a prime example. A late season return from injury saw him included in the England squad for the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa. He was selected for the opening game against USA but his injury problems flared up again in the first half of that game and he had to be substituted at the interval – his final England appearance.
With Walker and Townsend missing out on the England squad through injury it means that there is no representative in an England World Cup squad for the first time since 1954.