Scan Tells Stanley Forget the World Cup

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STAN COLLYMORE is in danger of missing England's World Cup bid after being told he may need surgery on his injured groin.

A hospital scan has failed to pinpoint the nature of the problem which has been troubling Aston Villa's record [pounds sterling]7mil-lion striker since he scored twice against his old club Liverpool four weeks ago.

Collymore misses today's Premiership game at Ever-ton and could be ruled out for the rest of the season.

Villa manager John Gregory said: 'He's seeing another specialist over the weekend but we fear he may need an operation. If that's the case you would imagine his World Cup hopes will be gone.

'I can honestly say that England coach Glenn Hod-dle is a fan of Stan's and the way he plays. He's only played 120 minutes football for me and has scored three goals.

'He's got all the artillery you want. But the bottom line is that he's struggling a bit with the injury and we need to sort things out and get him fit.' Gregory admits Collymore did not do himself 'any favours' by coming on in the second half of last week's UEFA Cup second-leg tie with Atletico Madrid, when he scored a stunning goal only for Villa to go out on the away goals rule after winning 2-1 win on the night.

The manager said: 'It was a question of him having a tester because he had to go into that situation to see how bad it was.

'If it now means having to scrub out the rest of this season to get him fully fit for preseason training in the summer, that's the route we'll have to go down but at the moment, we're not certain whether he needs surgery or rest. …