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Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez has been told his World Cup dream is over after the club confirmed he has ruptured his anterior cruciate knee ligament.
The 24-year-old, who has scored 17 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions for Saints this season, had hoped to be part of the England squad in Brazil after winning his first cap last year.
England coach Roy Hodgson had been following his progress in the Premier League after a difficult debut night at Wembley against Chile last November where he failed to shine as the Three Lions lost 2-0.
But Rodriguez will now have surgery to repair the injury sustained in the 4-1 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday.
And although Southampton have promised to do all they can to speed up the striker’s recovery, the former Burnley hitman is expected to be out until October.
“Jay is naturally disappointed, but is determined to get back playing for Saints as soon as possible,” said Southampton director Les Reed.
“He 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.”
Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be without Rodriguez for the rest of the season as they attempt to chase down Tottenham and Manchester United for a Europa League place next season.
Southampton face Cardiff City on Saturday in a match at St Mary’s which has a greater bearing on the relegation picture, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looking to bounce back from their home defeat to Crystal Palace.
Saints are the 1.52 favourites in the 1X2 betting to win while Cardiff are 4.92 to take all three points with the draw priced at 4.19.