- Premier League
Benteke ruled out of World Cup as Villa suffer blow
Aston Villa have confirmed that striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out for the rest of the season and the World Cup after tearing his Achilles tendon.
The Belgium international sustained the injury in training on Thursday and Villa released an official statement later that day revealing that the 23-year-old "will be out for a minimum of six months."
Villa manager Paul Lambert said in the statement: "It's a terrible blow both for Christian and for the club.
"He will miss the rest of the season, obviously, and also the World Cup. But he'll work hard because that's what he does and he'll come back for us stronger than ever next season."
The news comes as a huge blow to Lambert's side, who currently sit 12th in the table, but are not yet sure of their Premier League status.
It is also bad news for Belgium, who have been tipped by many as dark horses for this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
After a recent slump in form, Benteke has been back to his best of late and has hit three goals in his last four games for Villa to take his tally for the season to 11.
Belgium captain Vincent Kompany took to Twitter on Thursday evening to wish his international team-mate a speedy recovery.
Wishing you all the strength you need @bentekechris20 and I hope you will recover quickly! We're all with you together! Courage fréro!— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) April 3, 2014
Benteke, who has won 17 caps for Belgium, scored two goals in seven qualifying appearances to help book his nation's place at this summer's World Cup.