Kyle Walker has undergone groin surgery; No timescale has been put on his potential return but it is understood Manchester City believe he still has a chance of featuring in the World Cup
Image: Kyle Walker sustained the injury in the Manchester derby
Kyle Walker is a doubt for the World Cup in Qatar after Manchester City confirmed the full-back has had “successful” surgery on a groin injury.
Walker was forced off in the first half of City’s 6-3 derby victory over Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Walker came into the game feeling a niggle in his groin, which worsened during the game and he was taken off just before half-time.
No timescale has been put on Walker’s potential return but it is understood that Man City and Walker believe the right-back still has a chance of featuring in the World Cup.
Walker, 32, has been known to be a “quicker healer” from past injuries but his availability will depend on how his body reacts to the operation, with the next fortnight key.
Walker tweeted a picture of himself after the surgery, with the message: “As players we have to appreciate injuries are part and parcel of the game we love. My operation on Tuesday was a success and now I can concentrate on my rehab and getting back to full fitness. I will be supporting my team-mates every day in any way I can.”
Man City have taken the decision to have the operation now because of Walker’s pace and the fact the injury can’t be managed while still playing.
Gareth Southgate is expected to name his 26-man squad for Qatar 2022 on October 20, which will be well before FIFA’s deadline of Sunday November 13.
England face Iran in their opening World Cup group game on November 21 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha – the same venue where Germany begin their Qatar 2022 campaign as they face Japan on November 23.
Pep Guardiola insists there is no release clause in Erling Haaland’s contract, saying the Norwegian striker is “settled” and “happy” at Manchester City.
Reports in Spain had suggested there may be a clause in the 22-year-old’s contract that would allow him to join Real Madrid in two years’ time or for a lower fee than other clubs.
Before Man City’s 5-0 win over FC Copenhagen – during which Haaland scored twice, taking his tally for the season to 20 in 14 matches – the club rejected those reports and in his post-match press conference, Guardiola reiterated the club’s stance.
“It is not true”, the Spaniard said. “He has not got a release clause for Real Madrid or any other team. It is not true, that is all I can say. The rumours, people talk, we cannot control it. Always we must worry about what we can control.
“He adapted really well and I have the feeling that he is incredibly happy here. We will try, with all the people who want to stay here, to make them happy. That is the most important thing.
“In the end, what is going to happen in the future, nobody knows. What is important is that he is settled perfectly here, he is happy and he is incredibly loved by everyone. This is the most important thing.”