England midfielder Kalvin Phillips was released from the England squad on Tuesday due to a shoulder injury that raises concern for manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the World Cup.
Phillips was replaced by central midfielder Jordan Henderson for upcoming games against Italy and Germany in the Nations League.
Phillips, a fixture in the English team that reached the European Championship final last year, dislocated his shoulder last week and could undergo surgery, potentially leaving him out of the World Cup squad.
The 26-year-old holding midfielder has not had a good start to the season after being transferred from Leeds to champions Manchester City over the summer. He has been relegated to the substitute, with only 14 minutes of play, due to injuries, particularly problems with his shoulder. He had a fleeting appearance against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last week.
That raised hopes that Phillips was close to a full recovery after injuring his shoulder in a friendly against Barcelona in August. He suffered two serious shoulder injuries when he played for Leeds.
Southgate has Phillips and Declan Rice as his trademark midfielder duo since Euro 2020, in which the English lost to Italy on penalties in the final.
Phillips’ physical problems open the door for Jude Bellingham (Dortmund) and James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) to find a place as starters in the World Cup team.
The World Cup in Qatar starts on November 20.