Southampton and England’s fears were confirmed on Monday after the club announced striker Jay Rodriguez would be ruled out for six months with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
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Rodriguez suffered the injury after he landed awkwardly during Southampton’s 4-1 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday.
The 24-year-old, who was being watched by England manager Roy Hodgson at the time, had to be stretchered off and Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino was left fearing the worst.
Rodriguez has struck 15 times in the Premier League this season but will now miss the remainder of the campaign as well as this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
In a statement their official website, Southampton added that Rodriguez had already undergone a scan on the injury and had met with a specialist knee surgeon. The former Burnley forward is set to have routine surgery on his knee in the near future.
Southampton director Les Reed said: “Jay is naturally disappointed, but is determined to get back playing for Saints as soon as possible. Everything will be done to return him to full fitness and deliver a speedy recovery.
“Jay has asked us to pass on his gratitude to everybody who has shown him their concern and sympathy during the 48-or-so hours since his injury. Everyone at the club now wishes Jay well and we will support him, along with his family, to ensure that an international career plays a big part in his future.”