Belgium's Christian Benteke ruptured his Achilles tendon in Aston Villa training and will miss the World Cup. (Cal Sport Media)
The list of wounded stars who will miss the World Cup continues to grow.
Aston Villa confirmed that Belgium forward Christian Benteke tore his Achilles' tendon at Aston Villa training on Thursday, and he will miss the World Cup, joining the likes of England's Theo Walcott and the Netherlands' Kevin Strootman. Colombia forward Radamel Falcao, the biggest name of them all, is also likely to miss the World Cup after undergoing surgery for torn knee ligaments, though his surgeon remains optimistic that he can recover in time for Brazil despite the long odds.
The injury is a major blow for Belgium, which was one of the seeded teams in the World Cup draw and is considered by many to be a dark horse to make a deep run in the tournament. Belgium is in Group H along with Russia, South Korea and Algeria. Should Belgium and the USA make it out of their groups, they could potentially meet in the round of 16, as Groups G and H are paired together in the first knockout round.
Benteke, 23, scored 23 goals in all competitions in his first season Aston Villa in 2012-13, and he had 11 up to this point in the current campaign. Belgium also boasts Everton (on loan from Chelsea) forward Romelu Lukaku and a host of other attacking options like Chelsea's Eden Hazard to account for his absence.
Aston Villa says Benteke, a club teammate of U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan, will be out for a minimum of six months.