Forward Rickie Lambert has been spectacular in just his second EPL season as a member of surprising Southampton, but the Saints and the English national team will have to do without him in the immediate future due to a muscle injury, according to Henry Winter of The Telegraph.
Lambert's ailment will likely have a bigger impact on the Three Lions since they have a pair of friendlies over the next five days. It remains to be seen if he will be available against Germany on Nov. 19, but English manager Roy Hodgson has already ruled him out for the Nov. 15 friendly against Chile, according to The Football Association.
Hodgson: We've lost Rickie Lambert with an injury and we'll reassess him when we meet again on Sunday #England— The FA (@FA) November 14, 2013
England's next two matches are important when it comes to seeding for the World Cup, but it's in the tournament regardless, so it can live without Lambert for now. Conversely, Southampton may not be able to keep up its torrid pace if Lambert misses a significant amount of time.
Luckily, Southampton's next match isn't until Nov. 23 when it takes on first-place Arsenal in an absolutely massive clash. Southampton is currently in third, just three points behind the Gunners, and a win could very well vault them into a first-place tie depending upon what Liverpool does.
Few expected Southampton to be in this position, but Lambert's play is a huge reason for it. He is on pace for a career season with four goals and three assists in 10 EPL starts thus far.
Last season was Lambert's first at the EPL level, and he didn't disappoint with 15 goals. The 31-year-old Lambert was a dominant force for Southampton at lower levels of play for several years prior to the club's promotion last year, and he has quickly helped them become a contender in the EPL.
The severity of Lambert's injury is not yet apparent, but Southampton fans are undoubtedly crossing their fingers and hoping that it won't cause him to miss any league matches.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!