Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes recently joined the long list of high-profile players who risk sitting out this summer’s World Cup tournament in Brazil.
Valdes’ anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was torn in an innocuous incident during Barcelona’s recent 3-0 win over Celta Vigo, not only ending his involvement this season with Barcelona, but even in the Spain squad as they look to defend their title.
Other players who risk not being on the plane to Brazil this summer are listed below. The impact of these missing players could have a profound impact according to the website SportsBettingDime.com.
The Colombian superstar seems unlikely to be fit for the World Cup in time after his ACL tear during Monaco’s Coupe de France encounter with Chasselay this past January. The forward faces a race against time to be ready for the World Cup in June, but his rehabilitation is going better than expected.
England has already been robbed of the services of Arsenal winger Theo Walcott. In a FA Cup clash against Tottenham in January, the fleet-footed wide man also ruptured his ACL, and will certainly miss the plane to South America.
Theo Walcott’s club colleague suffered a broken foot while playing for England against Denmark in a friendly, and may not return to first team action until the middle of May.
Dutch football fans’ worst fears were confirmed by Roma when midfielder Kevin Strootman suffered an ACL injury similar to Theo Walcott and Valdes in his left knee, ruling him out of the World Cup. Strootman who suffered the blow during a Serie A match of Roma against Napoli, is not expected to return before 2015.
Ilkay Gundogan, Sami Khedira and Holger Badstuber
The German trio of Ilkay Gundogan, Sami Khedira and Holger Badstuber have injury worries. Just one Bundesliga appearance was made by Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan this season due to a back complaint, while uncertainty clouds his comeback. While Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber has been missing from the field since November 2012 following a cruciate ligament injury, the future looks unclear regarding when he’ll return.
There is some better news for Khedira who has been recovering well since rupturing his knee ligaments in November, and there are claims that he will be back in Real Madrid training within weeks, although his form and fitness is going to be a question due to lack of playing time.
Meanwhile in Italy, Fiorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi’s ticket to Brazil seemed doubtful after he suffered a knee injury playing against Livorno back in January. However the 26-year-old is expected to make an April return to the training, providing him a chance to prove his fitness in the final weeks of the season.
In Portugal, the team will have to do it without teenage starlet Bruma. The Galatasaray livewire also suffered an ACL injury in the first month of 2014, and is expected to be out for at least six months.
Finally, Makoto Hasebe — Japan’s captain — underwent right knee surgery recently after suffering an injury. The Nurnberg player’s return to action is yet unknown, but his full recovery is expected to go right down to the wire.