Earlier this evening, Granit Xhaka left training with the Swiss national team with an apparent left knee injury. According to RTS Sport (link in French), Xhaka had to be helped off the pitch and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. He reportedly suffered the injury in a challenge with Valon Behrami.
Regardless of its severity, an injury this close to the World Cup throws his availability into question. I can’t imagine how devastating it must be for a player to get hurt so close to the tournament. Of course, we know nothing beyond the fact that he left training hurt. It could be that the injury is minor and he will be back in time for Switzerland’s first match against Brazil on June 17th.
If the injury is more severe, say a torn ligament, depending on whether it’s an ACL, MCL, or PCL, he may not be available for the start of the Premier League season in August.
We will update this story as we learn more.
UPDATE: According to the Swiss Football Association (link in German), Xhaka sustained a bone bruise on his left knee. Contrary to reports, he did not go to the hospital but was evaluated by the team doctor at their hotel. He then had an MRI at a nearby clinic, which was negative for any ligament / meniscus damage. He is expected to miss Switzerland’s friendly with Spain on June 3rd, but it seems as if he will be back in time for the World Cup.