REUTERS - Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has withdrawn from England’s squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia with a muscle injury, the Football Association said on Tuesday.
The uncapped 23-year-old sustained the injury during Everton’s 2-0 Premier League defeat by Chelsea at the weekend and has returned to his club for treatment, the FA said in a statement.
”Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has left the England camp and returned to Everton,“ the FA said. ”Having reported to St George’s Park on Sunday evening, the 23-year-old underwent an assessment on a muscle injury sustained playing for his club.
“After discussions between England and Everton medics, it was decided it was in the player’s best interests to return to Finch Farm for further treatment.”
England manager Gareth Southgate has three other goalkeepers in Jack Butland, Joe Hart and Tom Heaton available.
Southgate’s team top Group F and travel to basement-side Malta on Friday before hosting second-placed Slovakia at Wembley on Monday.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty