Kalvin Phillips will miss England’s Nations League games against Italy and Germany after suffering a reoccurrence of a shoulder problem, an injury that leaves the Manchester City midfielder racing to be fit for the World Cup in November.
Phillips has been a mainstay for Gareth Southgate, winning England’s player of the year award last season, but has been forced to pull out of the latest squad, for Friday’s game in Milan and the Germans’ visit a week on Monday.
Surgery is thought to be a strong consideration for the City midfielder, who was absent for his team’s 3-0 victory at Wolves on Saturday. The 26-year-old has had a stop-start beginning to his time at the Etihad Stadium following a £42m move from Leeds. Phillips has made three appearances for City this season, the last of which was a late cameo off the bench in the victory against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday. He is yet to start a game under Pep Guardiola.
Phillips previously missed about a month at Leeds because of a shoulder complaint. It is unclear if Southgate will call up a replacement after being left with four orthodox midfielders in his squad: Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Jude Bellingham and James Ward-Prowse. Brentford’s Ivan Toney received his first call up and Tottenham’s Eric Dier was recalled.