Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard is facing the prospect of shoulder surgery as soon as the season ends.
He will attempt to resolve the shoulder injury that has caused him ongoing pain throughout the season.
England face the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on 29th May and then fly to Rio De Janeiro to play against Brazil only days later on 2nd June. Although they are only friendly games, these are the fixtures that will provide England manager Roy Hodgson with a good opportunity to work with his key players to consider the first choice team he wants to play in the World Cup 2014.
Gerrard would have been a key figure in Hodgson's plans and the loss of the captain will require Hodgson to re-think his plans.
England face the likes of Ukraine, Poland and Montenegro in the autumn, and Hodgson will hopeful his captain can be a part of his plans, despite not featuring in these key pre-season games.
Gerrard is likely to complete the campaign for Liverpool before undergoing keyhole surgery after the game against Queens Park Rangers on 19th May. Liverpool's medical staff expect Gerrard to be out-of-action for eight weeks over the summer and will hope the surgery will not hinder the club's pre-season plans.
Liverpool coach Mike Marsh has lamented the timing of the injury, telling reporters: "It's not ideal timing, it's going to take quite a while for him to heal."
Gerrard's shoulder injury could be down to a hectic schedule that has seen the 32-year-old play 44 games, including playing every minute of Liverpool's current Premier League campaign.
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