Jude Bellingham could require surgery on a knee injury which would rule him out of England's upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Bellingham, 19, has been seen wearing strapping on his knee in recent months as he fought to help Dortmund win their first Bundesliga title since 2012. He had to watch from the substitutes' bench as Dortmund drew at home to Mainz on the final day, surrendering the title to Bayern Munich.
Now he could be dealt another blow by missing next month's international fixtures against Malta and North Macedonia. And it comes at the start of a summer where Bellingham is expected to seal a mega-money transfer elsewhere.
According to the Daily Mail, surgery has not yet been confirmed, but with the season now over there could be the chance to perform such a procedure to fix the problem.
The newly crowned Bundesliga player of the season was first spotted wearing strapping on his knee in March for the Champions League clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in what was believed to be a precautionary measure. However, he then turned up for England duty, playing against both Italy and Ukraine with similar strapping in place.
Having played close to 200 matches as a teenager, Bellingham has racked up an unprecedented number of minutes played since his 2019 debut for Birmingham City as a 16-year-old. Since then, he has become a starter in the Champions League and at international level, playing in a European Championships as well as the recent World Cup in Qatar.
Bellingham played in each of England's matches at the tournament, becoming an important player for Gareth Southgate's Three Lions. However, with matches coming up against relative minnows on the international stage, Malta and North Macedonia, the chance may be taken to rest the youngster should surgery be required.
There will also be a desire for Dortmund to protect their prized asset, with a summer transfer expected to be in the region of more than £100 million for the midfielder, with Real Madrid the most likely destination.
Despite expectations Southgate would pick some new faces, Bellingham was named in the Three Lions' latest squad last week. The England manager spoke about the injury in March, revealing cooperation with Dortmund on the matter.
“We’re in collaboration with Jude’s club and there is no issue with him continuing to play as we see it,” Southgate continued. “Jude is in the bracket we love - high performance, low maintenance.
“He wants to improve. He’s an open book in terms of suggesting things that can help his game and you know, he is keen to pick that up. If you explain to him exactly what you want, in terms of receiving information and retaining information, he is really good.”2023-05-30T09:24:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd