West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is waiting on injury news on a knee problem that could threaten his place at the Euros in the summer.
The England midfielder will miss Monday night's clash with Wolves, with a place in the top four on offer to the Hammers if they win, but there are fears that Rice’s knee injury could curtail his season and hurt his Euro 2020 hopes.
Rice has taken his game to the next level in 2020/21 and has become an increasingly important player for England. His form is one of the major reasons why West Ham are competing for a possible Champions League place at this late stage of the campaign.
But there now appears to be a nervous wait to determine the severity of a knee injury the 22-year-old suffered while on international duty with England last week.
The Telegraph writes that Rice has been wearing a protective brace since facing Poland in the last of England’s three internationals last month, with West Ham medical staff waiting for the swelling to go down and for scan results to come through.
Rice is hoping the problem won’t end his season prematurely and it is said there are initial fears he could miss around four weeks while his knee recovers. That would at least mean a return to fitness before the end of the Premier League campaign, which could be crucial to West Ham’s European prospects. He would also be back more than a month before England’s first Euro 2020 game.
However, worst case scenario is a lengthier layoff and surgery, ending Rice’s season immediately and almost certainly also killing his chances of being available for England this summer.
Either way, he won’t be on the pitch as West Ham look to take advantage of Chelsea’s unexpected slip up on Saturday when they were thrashed 5-2 at home by a struggling West Brom side.
The Hammers fell to seventh in the Premier League table over the weekend, dropping below Liverpool and Tottenham, but three points against Wolves at Molineux on Monday night would see them leapfrog both clubs and Chelsea into the top four.