Darren Bent injured
Aston Villa's Darren Bent receives treatment before being carried off on a stretcher during the Barclays Premier League match at DW Stadium, Wigan. Picture date: Saturday February 25, 2012. Press Association

England's striker crisis does not seem to be getting any better, following news that Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has been sidelined for up to 3 months with an ankle injury.

This will deal a major blow to interim English national team manager Stuart Pearce and his plans for the 2012 European Championship. Pearce was counting on Bent after star striker Wayne Rooney was declared suspended for three games. Rooney has been punished for a red card received in the game against Montenegro.

As of now then, the English national team has only three recognised strikers - Fraizer Campbell (Sunderland), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea) and Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

Bent, who was injured in his Satuday's game against Wigan Athletic, will see a doctor on Monday. However, according to reports, the-28-year-old striker might need surgery and could face a minimum of ten weeks on the sideline, rendering him unavailable for both club and country, for the rest of the season.

"He faces up to 12 weeks on the sidelines having ruptured ankle ligaments in his left foot and he is unlikely to play again this season," said a statement released by his club.

The injury is obviously a huge disappointment for Bent.

"I'm gutted to be out so long at such a crucial part of the season, hopefully my recovery will be as quick as possible," Bent posted on Twitter.

It is speculated that Bent's injury may pave the way for Liverpool striker Andy Carroll to stake a claim for a permanent place in the squad.