Rhys Williams’ dream of playing at the World Cup could be over after the Socceroos defender suffered an apparently serious achilles tendon injury.
Williams was caught up in a mid-field clash just before half-time in Middlesbrough’s 0-0 draw with Wigan in the English Championship at Riverside Stadium on Wednesday morning (AEDT).
Play was stopped for a number of minutes as the 25-year-old received treatment, before he was carried off wearing a leg brace and taken to hospital for further examination.
Middlesbrough said via Twitter it understood he had an achilles injury.
“They will check him and we will know more soon but it looks like a very serious injury for Rhys,” said Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
“His face and the doctor’s face were not good. He was crying and I feel sympathy for him.
“It is very bad injury for him. I hope he will recover as soon as possible because he had a big chance to play in the World Cup so that will be a big incentive for him.
“All our feelings are with him, mine, the team’s, the staff’s. He will get all the support we can give him.”
A torn achilles could sideline Williams for at least six months, including June’s World Cup in Brazil.
It could also put in doubt a reported multi-million dollar deal with English Premier League outfit Swansea City – a move touted by UK media last week.
Williams, who has 14 caps for Australia, appeared a likely selection for the World Cup after playing in new coach Ange Postecoglou’s squad in the friendly match against Costa Rica in November.
Unfortunately it’s not an unfamiliar situation for the West Australian, who missed the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 after suffering a serious pelvic injury.
The news couldn’t come at a worse time for Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, after last week losing attacking star Robbie Kruse to a knee injury.
Kruse was slated to have surgery to repair ligaments he tore while training with his German club Bayer Leverkusen.