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‘I don’t know now’: Kyle Walker’s World Cup is in DOUBT as Pep Guardiola confirms defender’s injury and refuses to give a timetable for his return…leaving Gareth Southgate with a major defensive HEADACHE for England
- Pep Guardiola confirmed Kyle Walker has suffered a abdominal injury
- Walker stumbled away against Man United and missed City’s clash with Copenhagen
- Guardiola failed to set a timetable for his return, leaving his World Cup in doubt
- His City and England team-mates John Stones and Kalvin Phillips are also injured
Kyle Walker’s World Cup place could be in jeopardy as the England and Manchester City defender succumbed to a stomach injury on the sidelines.
Walker missed City’s 5-0 Champions League win over FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night, then Pep Guardiola said he was unable to give a time frame on how long he will be out, with just six weeks until the start of the game. the World Cup.
“It’s an abdominal thing and he will be out of action for a while,” Guardiola said. ‘I don’t know (how long). I can’t say anything else.
Kyle Walker’s World Cup place could be in jeopardy if sidelined with injury
“Kyle will be out for a while. We need to speak to the doctors. Hopefully he can get (back for the World Cup) just like Kalvin (Phillips).
“I know how important the World Cup is for the players, but to be honest I don’t know at the moment.”
Walker limped off in Sunday’s 6-3 derby win over Manchester United and was replaced by Sergio Gomez after 41 minutes.
The 32-year-old has made eight appearances in all competitions for City so far this season and has been a regular member of Gareth Southgate’s England squad in recent years.
The injury of the Man City defender gives Gareth Southgate another selection headache
Walker has excelled and has been an integral part of Southgate’s side in recent years
He played both games during the most recent international break and was a key figure in England’s lead up to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and the Euro 2020 final.
Walker’s injury comes after fellow City team-mate Kalvin Phillips was ruled out of the latest international break due to a shoulder injury, with the midfielder sweating in his World Cup spot.
Similarly, John Stones also limped during England’s duel with Germany in the Nations League.
John Stones was injured against Germany in the Nations League-England game last month
There were fears that Stones also ran the risk of missing out on the World Cup, although those fears were allayed by Guardiola, who confirmed the injury in his pre-match press conference ahead of last weekend’s clash with United.
Guardiola told reporters: “No, I think he (Stones) won’t be injured for five to six weeks, but it will be less. Normally, the hamstring can last four to six weeks. I don’t know when he will be back, but hopefully 10 days to two weeks.”
Joao Cancelo started as right-back for City on Wednesday in Walker’s absence with Sergio Gomez on the other wing, but in the second half Guardiola introduced two teenage fullbacks – first 17-year-old Rico Lewis as right-back, then Josh Wilson-Esbrand, 19, to the left hand side.
Pep Guardiola brought in a number of young players in the second half of Wednesday’s game, including 17-year-old fullback Rico Lewis who was praised by the Spaniard after the game
Both impressed and earned applause from Guardiola on the sidelines as Lewis made a crucial block to deny Paul Mukairu, while Wilson-Esbrand hooked up well into the future.
“We need everyone involved,” Guardiola said. “Rico is only 17, but I know the problems we have now. We don’t have many options as left-back and right-back.
“Rico showed me again today that we can rely on him perfectly enough, even though he’s only 17.”