England and Tottenham winger Andros Townsend, left, suffered an ankle injury and will not recover in time for the World Cup. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
England's stable of young, fast attacking players continues to shrink with the World Cup on the horizon.
Tottenham's 22-year-old winger Andros Townsend will miss more than two months after suffering ankle ligament damage, ruling him out of contention for England's World Cup squad. He joins Theo Walcott on the sidelines for the world's most prestigious competition, further limiting Roy Hodgson's attacking options. The England manager said he would name his squad on May 12.
Townsend suffered the injury against Stoke City on Saturday after coming on as a substitute in the 78th minute. He burst onto the scene with England last fall, helping the Three Lions qualify for Brazil with a sterling performance and a goal in a 4-1 win over Montenegro in his first cap that boosted his international stock significantly. He followed that up with another strong performance against Poland that sealed England's place on the world stage.
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Regardless of whether he was a lock for Hodgson's roster before the injury, that is a moot point, as he'll be forced to miss out. England wil have to proceed without him and Walcott in a loaded group during the World Cup that features Uruguay, Italy and CONCACAF runner-up Costa Rica.