Tottenham Hotspur and England winger Andros Townsend is expected to miss the World Cup finals after confirmation the 22 year old requires surgery to fix an ankle ligament problem which will see him miss ten weeks of action.
Townsend played a crucial role in helping England qualify for Brazil, scoring on his international debut against Montenegro before featuring in the win over Poland.
Though his form for Tottenham has subsided during the remainder of the season amid constant injury troubles, Townsend was expected to make-up part of Roy Hodgson's 30-man preliminary squad for the World Cup following a season-ending cruciate knee-ligament injury to Arsenal's Theo Walcott.
But an ankle problem picked up in the win over Stoke City at the weekend requires surgery to fix and will see him miss the summer finals.
A Tottenham statement read: "Following further examination and consultation, Andros Townsend is to undergo surgery on his left ankle on Thursday (tomorrow) after damaging ligaments during our fixture against Stoke City last Saturday. The injury is likely to sideline the young winger for up to 10 weeks."
Injury to Townsend sees him become the third high-profile injury absentee from the World Cup for England after Theo Walcott and Jay Rodriguez suffered respective long-term knee injuries.
Sunderland's Adam Johnson and Manchester United's wideman Ashley Young could both now be included in England's squad, with Hodgson set to unveil his 30-man preliminary party in 12 May.
Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who will miss the remainder of the Premier League season and the FA Cup final, is now almost certain to be reconsidered as might Wilfried Zaha, who has spent the campaign on loan at Cardiff City from Old Trafford.
Hodgson admits he may turn to youth to make up his initial squad: "What young players normally do is knock on the door and perhaps peek their head around the corner and maybe give the more experienced players something to worry a little bit about," said Hodgson.
"But that's not the case with our young players, they've knocked the door down, they are right in there amongst it.
"It's made the choice much greater, it's made the job of choosing much harder. I think it makes a stronger squad as well because there will be a lot of players in there who, if they get given the chance, will realise that they've got to grasp it."
Jack Wilshere and Kyle Walker are both nursing respective ankle and pelvic injuries but could yet be included.