England Boss Says Tottenham Defender Is Major World Cup Doubt

Walker’s absence could be good news for Liverpool right-back Flanagan.

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England manager Roy Hodgson does not expect Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker to be fit for this summer’s World Cup.

The 23-year-old, who has 10 senior international caps to his name, had been expected to compete with Liverpool’s Glen Johnson for the position of right-back in Hodgson’s starting XI at Brazil 2014.

However, Walker has not featured for Spurs since suffering a pelvic injury during the 3-1 defeat to Benfica in the Europa League seven weeks ago and he is still a long way from making his return to fitness.

“We haven’t been told for certain that he will be out for the next six to 10 weeks but we are concerned that it has been a long time he has been out,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.

“During that time he has not been able to do any training with the rest of the team as far as I know.

“I know he has had another injection [to aid his rehabilitation]. We are waiting to find out whether that helps. He has not been fit for a long time.”

Walker’s absence from the squad could open up a space on the place for Liverpool’s Jon Flanagan, who has yet to make his senior international debut.

Flanagan, who has been capped three times by England at Under-21 level, has started 21 Premier League games for the Reds this season.

Other contenders to fill England’s right-back slot include Manchester United’s Phil Jones, Everton’s John Stones and Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson.

Hodgson will name his 30-man provisional squad on May 12 – 33 days before England begin their World Cup campaign by facing Italy in Manaus on June 14.

The Three Lions then travel to Sao Paulo to take on Uruguay five days later, before concluding their Group D fixtures with a trip to Belo Horizonte to play Costa Rica on June 24.

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