Jordan Pickford has been ruled out of England’s World Cup qualifiers this month due to an abdominal injury.
Pickford was forced off shortly before half-time during Everton’s 2-1 Premier League defeat to Burnley last weekend.
Everton confirmed the 27-year-old had undergone a scan that revealed damage to his oblique abdominal muscle.
Pickford will also miss Everton’s FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester City at Goodison Park ion Saturday.
England face San Marino, Albania and Poland as their campaign to reach Qatar 2022 gets underway.
Manager Gareth Southgate has kept faith with Pickford as his first-choice goalkeeper, the former Sunderland man having impressed during the Three Lions’ run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals in Russia.
Burnley’s Nick Pope and Manchester United’s Dean Henderson are the most likely replacements for Pickford.
In all competitions this season, Pope has made 105 saves compared to Pickford’s 73 and boasts a better save percentage of 75.9 to 69.5
Pickford has made four errors leading to goals this season, compared to two from Pope, while only Aaron Ramsdale (11) has conceded more than his 10 goals from outside the box among all Premier League goalkeepers.
Pope and Henderson have each been beaten twice from beyond their 18-yard box.
Henderson has enjoyed a recent run in the United first team but is usually back-up to David de Gea and has made a total of 17 appearances this season.
However, the former Sheffield United loanee’s save percentage of 81.13 is the highest of any goalkeeper from the English top flight to have played 10 or more games this season.
Sam Johnstone, like Henderson a product of the Manchester United youth set-up, could now push for a place in Southgate’s squad.
Johnstone has made more saves than any Premier League keeper (115) but also conceded the most goals (55) for relegation-threatened West Brom.
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