Danny Welbeck’s knee injury is set to sideline the Arsenal striker for six months according to England manager Roy Hodgson.
Welbeck has not featured since a 0-0 draw against Premier League champions Chelsea in April and Arsenal confirmed last week that the forward had undergone surgery to correct the long-standing problem, ruling him out for “several months”.
The 24-year-old has not represented England since March and will be unable to add to an impressive haul of six goals in Euro 2016 qualifying.
Hodgson admits that the fitness of Welbeck and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is a cause for concern.
“Welbeck bothers me now,” Hodgson is quoted as saying ahead of England’s Group E clash against Switzerland on Tuesday.
“He has already been out for me since March so that’s over four months already. And now I hear it’s another six months, so I can only hope that Danny recovers a bit quicker and hits the ground running.
“Daniel is a little bit the same because it’s getting on for a year now. They are always in my thoughts because I think they’re very good players, and they did extremely well when they were playing in the national team, but I’ve got to make certain there are a few Jamie Vardys and Harry Kanes and Theo Walcotts because we can’t keep going around talking about the ones who aren’t there.
“What we’re trying to develop is a bigger pool of players, to get that up to 30, where we can say: ‘Whatever happens, as long as we can get 23 from this 30, we’ll be okay’. Then you would have to be very unlucky if two or three in the same position went down.”