‘Devastated’ Butland could miss out after ankle break
A “devastated” Jack Butland could see his dream of playing at Euro 2016 disappear after it was confirmed the goalkeeper had fractured his right ankle.
The initial diagnosis is that the 23-year-old will be out for up to three months, which would certainly rule him out of the tournament – but it still depends on the ligament damage he has suffered and the speed of his recovery.
Butland suffered the freak injury during England’s 3-2 away victory against Germany and was carried off in tears. A scan yesterday confirmed a fracture. A source describe the injury as “nasty”. It will have serious ramifications for his club, Stoke City, who are vying to qualify for Europe. He tweeted last night: “Today’s scan revealed I’ve fractured my ankle, absolutely devasted [sic]! I’ll be doing everything I can to get back fit as soon as I can!”
England manager Roy Hodgson expressed his concern after the game that Butland had suffered a fracture and that has been realised. The incident happened in the 41st minute when Butland went to ground to collect the ball before pulling up sharply after he then executed a clearance. He did not signal to the England bench – and Germany then capitalised as Toni Kroos scored the opening goal of the game, which Butland would have covered at his near post had he not been injured. He took no further part in the match.
Butland was starting as understudy to Joe Hart, who damaged a calf in the Manchester derby but is expected to return soon. Fraser Forster, the Southampton goalkeeper, was always due to start tomorrow’s friendly at Wembley against Holland, which Butland would have sat out. Burnley’s Tom Heaton is now Forster’s understudy.
Hodgson has to name his squad for Euro 2016 in just over seven weeks, on May 12, and he has already stated that he will not take any injured players, or anyone who is still only working his way back to full fitness.
Tomorrow’s fixture will represent the last chance for many players to impress Hodgson, with no further England fixtures being played between now and the date of the Euro 2016 squad announcement.
Meanwhile, Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford drew a blank on his England Under-20s debut as their Canada counterparts caused an upset with a 2-1 win at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium yesterday. Chelsea’s Kasey Palmer scored England’s goal.
Tournament fear: The length of Jack Butland’s lay-off will depend on ligament damage