Danny Ings’ hopes of getting in the England squad for Euro 2020 have suffered a huge blow as Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl suggested the striker may not play again this season.
The 28-year-old was forced off with a hamstring issue during Saints’ 2-1 defeat at Tottenham last week in a match that also saw him claim his tenth Premier League goal of the season.
The 28-year-old has not returned to training and will definitely be absent for Friday evening’s game at home to Leicester, casting doubt over his availability for this summer’s finals, which are scheduled to begin in just six weeks.
“It is not that (much) worse than it looked at first but it’s also that serious that he misses now a few games, I don’t know if he comes back for the last games,” Hasenhuttl said of Ings.
“We have Liverpool (on May 8) and then five games in two weeks so we need every player.”
Ings scored on his most recent England appearance – a 3-0 win over Wales in October – but did not join up with his country last month because of a leg problem.
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He faces stiff competition for national team selection, with Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Marcus Rashford, Ollie Watkins, Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood among the other attacking options available to manager Gareth Southgate.
Ings’ latest injury setback sees him join Ryan Bertrand, Oriol Romeu and Will Smallbone in Saints’ treatment room.
With Bertrand’s current deal set to expire in the summer and Ings linked with the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and West Ham, Hasenhuttl dismissed suggestions the pair were being left out for contractual reasons.
“It was definitely an injury and with Ryan Bertrand it is the same problem; he cannot train since two weeks because he has a calf problem,” said the Austrian.
“That’s it. What can I tell you?”