Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend has been ruled out of contention for a place at this summer's World Cup finals for England with an ankle injury.
Townsend will undergo surgery on the ankle he injured in the 1-0 victory at Stoke last weekend.
"Following further examination and consultation, Andros Townsend is to undergo surgery on his left ankle on Thursday (tomorrow) after damaging ligaments during our fixture against Stoke City last Saturday," read a Spurs statement. "The injury is likely to sideline the young winger for up to ten weeks."
The 22-year-old had been hoping to make the final cut for Roy Hodgson’s squad for this summer’s trip to Brazil, after he played a crucial role in helping England qualify.
Townsend’s sparkling performances in the final two qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland at Wembley last October had him in the running for a place in Roy Hodgson's final 23-man squad.
But he struggled to make his mark in the Tottenham side in the months since he made his international breakthrough, as Spurs head coach Tim Sherwood not found a place for him in his starting lineup.
Spurs boss Tim Sherwood sympathised with Townsend, telling Sky Sports News: "I don't expect people to be pleased to be left out but he gives everything in training to make himself better.
"This is a major setback for him - he's going to have to wait another four years to play in a World Cup, that's a negative. But he has nothing to worry about. He will improve himself, he's single-minded and determined to get every single bit of ability out of himself to be the best he can.
"I've had him since he's been a baby and he's a credit to the academy. He's difficult at times -- he's a character, not a soldier, who sometimes needs managing. Sometimes all the best players do.''
On his own situation after reports that Tottenham had approached Ajax manager Frank De Boer, Sherwood said: "I'm just carrying on as I'd normally do. I just get on with it. When clubs come out - and managers too - it's disappointing. Somewhere along the line someone is telling porkies.
"We'll see where the discussions at the end of the season take us. It's a difficult time when there are outside distractions but I have to concentrate on the job in hand. My office is on the field. I think it's gone reasonably well for me in the Premier League but we'll just have to wait and see."
Townsend’s absence from the squad removes one selection headache for boss Hodgson, who will also be without Southampton forward Jay Rodriquez. Hodgson will confirm his World Cup squad at a press briefing in Luton on May 12.