Ankle injury threatens Barry World Cup hopes
England midfielder Gareth Barry's participation in this summer's World Cup finals appears to be in doubt,as he has been ruled out for up to four weeks with an ankle ligament injury.
Barry, who has been a regular starter in the centre of Fabio Capello's midfield since the Italian boss took over the reins in 2008, suffered the injury in Manchester City's 1-0 defeat to Spurs on Wednesday and was initially diagnosed with a minor sprain by club doctors.
But following a scan and a visit to a specialist, the injury was revealed to be ankle ligament damage,which rules Barry out for up to four weeks, and puts his finals participation into serious jeopardy.
It would be a huge blow for England coach Capello - who must now face up to the possibility of returning Steven Gerrard to his favoured central midfield role from the left, or giving someone else a chance in the middle - with James Milner and Michael Carrick thought to be the likely candidates.
If Barry were to miss the finals it would also free up an extra midfield place, giving an opportunity for the likes of Joe Cole, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker or even Owen Hargreaves to potentially stake a claim for a place in Capello's squad.
Even a three-week lay-off would force Barry to miss most of England's build-up to the finals, which includes a training camp in Austria and warm-up games with Mexico and Japan, before the Three Lions take on the USA in their opening fixture on June 12.
The City midfielder has never played in a World Cup after missing out on selection under former coach Sven Goran Eriksson in both 2002 and 2006.