Knee injury casts doubt on Welbeck’s Euro chances
Danny Welbeck’s prospects of playing for England at Euro 2016 this summer are in jeopardy amid fears that the Arsenal forward has suffered another serious knee injury.
The England striker will have a scan today after he was substituted midway through the first half at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsène Wenger said there were concerns Welbeck had damaged the meniscus in his right knee in an innocuous-looking challenge with City defender Bacary Sagna, four days before England manager Roy Hodgson is due to name his squad for the tournament in France.
It is not the same knee on which Welbeck had surgery in September to correct a problem that kept him out for 10 months and from which he returned only in February but Wenger admitted the player was crestfallen and in pain.
The Arsenal manager said: “We have to wait for a scan. I hope it is not the meniscus but there is a little sign of that. Danny is a strong boy and we tried to keep him on the pitch but straight away he tried to move and said it was impossible.
“At half-time I looked at him and he was very down and he had pain. The good news [if it is not serious] is that he will not be out of the Euros and the bad news [if it is] is that he will. I am an optimist.”
There was better news for Hodgson as Jack Wilshere, who replaced Welbeck, emerged unscathed from his first proper runout since returning from a broken leg suffered in pre-season. The Arsenal midfielder had played for just six minutes in the 0-0 draw at Sunderland last month.
“He is well prepared physically and I believe his performance was encouraging,” Wenger said. “He will benefit from this intensity.”
One player definitely out of the Euros is Vincent Kompany. The injury-plagued City and Belgium captain underwent surgery on a torn groin in Spain on Saturday and is expected to be out for four months as doubts grow over his long-term future at the Etihad Stadium.
Kompany was injured early in City’s Champions League semi-final second leg defeat by Real Madrid at the Bernabéu on Wednesday, the fifth serious muscle injury the centre-half has suffered this season.
Feeling down: Danny Welbeck receives treatment before limping off yesterday