World Cup watch: Ox three weeks out, Ronaldo double injury
England and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain face a nervous wait to find out if the winger will be able to take part in the World Cup this summer, after picking up a knee injury in the friendly draw with Ecuador.
The 20-year-old shone for the Three Lions but had to be taken off in the 63rd minute after a collision with opposition Carlos Gruezo, and early reports now claim he will be out for up to three weeks. He is set the miss the first group game anyway, where England are priced at 11/5 for victory.
Sky Sports’ Nick Collins said: “No official word yet but our sources say Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to be out for between 10 and 21 days.
“If it is only the 10 days, he might be available for the game with Uruguay and, of course, the later Group match against Costa Rica.
“However, if he is out for the full three weeks, that would rule him out of all the group games and that would probably mean the end of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s World Cup hopes. Either way, it looks like manager Roy Hodgson has a decision to make.
“It may not be as bad an injury as first feared in terms of possible ligament damage, so England will hope he can stay with the squad, but it is a case of wait and see.”
Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, reportedly has two injuries currently – a strained thigh and tendonitis in his left knee – and is struggling to be fit in time for Portugal’s first Group G game with Germany. They are 5/2 chances to win that match.
While the Real Madrid superstar has been seen training, he has been doing so away from the rest of the squad at his own pace. He missed the most recent friendly draw with Greece, and looks as if he’ll be absent for the other pre-tournament games with Mexico and Republic of Ireland as well.
There is slightly more positive news surrounding Robin van Persie, though. The Netherlands striker, who came off at half-time in his side’s 2-0 win over Wales, has played down fears he will miss the first game against Spain, who the Dutch are 9/2 to beat.
“I wouldn’t call it an injury. It built up during the game so I decided it was sensible to come off,” he said.