Updates from Thursday, April 10
Crocked Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke is poised to go under the knife ahead of the weekend.
Benteke ruptured his achilles tendon in training last Thursday, and has returned to his home in Belgium for the operation.
Manager Paul Lambert said: 'Our doctor (Roddy Macdonald) is over in Belgium and he has spoken with the surgeon, and it's pretty imminent he will get it done - today, tonight or tomorrow.
Then after that it's all about the rehabilitation with him. When it's a long-term injury you have good days, bad days, like everyone else when they are out injured for a long time, but he'll be fine.'
Aston Villa striker and Belgian international Christian Benteke's 2014 World Cup hopes have been dashed following news that he's suffered a torn Achilles tendon, according to Premier League reporter Kristof Terreur on Twitter:
Christian Benteke has torn his achilles tendon. No World Cup for him. #avfc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) April 3, 2014
The Times' Oliver Kay points out the deflating news' impact:
Aston Villa confirmed the news, with manager Paul Lambert speaking on the injury:
Paul Lambert: "He will miss the rest of the season, obviously, and also the World Cup." #AVFC— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) April 3, 2014
The 23-year-old Benteke has made significant strides over the past two seasons with Villa, scoring 34 goals in just under 70 appearances in all competitions. Prior to going down, Benteke had scored 10 goals and assisted on two others in 26 Premier League appearances for the Lions in 2013-14. No other Villa player has more than five goals in all competitions this season.
Benteke has also made 17 appearances with the Belgium senior national team since 2010 and has netted six goals for his country since August 2012.
Bleacher Report lead football writer Sam Tighe points out what the injury could mean for 20-year-old Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi:
Maybe now Michy Batshuayi will get his wish and go to the World Cup?— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) April 3, 2014
Batshuayi has five goals in a dozen appearances with the Belgium Under-21 squad and is a potential World Cup addition for Belgium manager Marc Wilmots.
It remains to be seen how long Benteke's injury will sideline him, but if he's to miss this summer's World Cup, he'll likely target next season for his return.