Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez's hopes of playing for England at this year's World Cup finals were dashed Monday when it was announced he would be out for at least six months with a knee injury.
The 24-year-old forward was one of several Saints players in the running for a place in Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for Brazil after scoring 17 goals so far this term.
But Rodriguez, who made his England debut in a friendly against Chile in November, saw his season come to a shuddering halt when he landed awkwardly during Saturday's 4-1 defeat by Manchester City and was carried off on a stretcher at Eastlands.
It looked a severe injury and a Southampton statement on Monday confirmed the news the player had been dreading.
"Southampton Football Club can confirm that, following his injury on Saturday against Manchester City, Jay Rodriguez has been diagnosed as having suffered a rupture to his anterior cruciate ligament," said a statement on the south coast club's website.
"This will keep him out of action for six months and regrettably means he will not be fit for selection by the English national team at this summer's FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
"The 24-year-old has already been scanned and has met with a specialist knee surgeon. He will be having a routine operation shortly.
"The club will post any further updates once Jay's rehabilitation is under way."
Hodgson was in the stands at Eastlands to see Rodriguez's agonising injury at first-hand, with the Saints man the second player he has lost to an anterior cruciate ligament injury following Arsenal forward Theo Walcott earlier this season.
Southampton director Les Reed said: "Jay is naturally disappointed, but is determined to get back playing for Saints as soon as possible.
"Everything will be done to return him to full fitness and deliver a speedy recovery.
"Jay has asked us to pass on his gratitude to everybody who has shown him their concern and sympathy during the 48-or-so hours since his injury.
"Everyone at the club now wishes Jay well and we will support him, along with his family, to ensure that an international career plays a big part in his future."
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