Football: Ankle injury ends Townsend's World Cup hopes

Cardiff City's Fabio da Silva (left) challenges for the ball with Tottenham Hotspur's Andros Townsend during their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane in London, on March 2, 2014. Tottenham Hotspur announced on Wednesday that Andro
Cardiff City's Fabio da Silva (left) challenges for the ball with Tottenham Hotspur's Andros Townsend during their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane in London, on March 2, 2014. Tottenham Hotspur announced on Wednesday that Andros Townsend will be sidelined for around 10 weeks with an ankle ligament problem, effectively ruling him out of the World Cup for England. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Tottenham Hotspur announced on Wednesday that Andros Townsend will be sidelined for around 10 weeks with an ankle ligament problem, effectively ruling him out of the World Cup for England.

"Following further examination and consultation, Andros Townsend is to undergo surgery on his left ankle on Thursday after damaging ligaments during our fixture against Stoke City last Saturday," Tottenham said in a statement on their website.

"The injury is likely to sideline the young winger for up to 10 weeks."

A period of unavailability of 10 weeks would leave Townsend unable to play until the second week in July, by which time England's World Cup campaign in Brazil may already be over.

England manager Roy Hodgson is due to announce his 23-man squad for the tournament on May 12, with England set to open their Group D campaign against Italy in Manaus on June 14.

Townsend, 22, burst onto the scene with Spurs at the start of the season, forcing his way into the England team and playing a key role in the wins over Montenegro and Poland that secured qualification for the World Cup.

The pacy, left-footed wide player has since slipped off the radar, however, starting only five times for Spurs in all competitions since the turn of the year.