Wigan Athletic will have five players representing them in the international break over the next two weeks but 17-year-old Joe Gelhardt has been forced to withdraw from England’s under-18s after being stretchered off in Wigan’s 3-0 defeat to Brentford on Saturday.
After being knocked unconscious in a collision with teammate Kieffer Moore in the last few moments of Saturday’s defeat, Gelhardt was taken for a CT scan and X-Ray and has since been released from hospital.
The striker, who has made six league appearances for the Latics this season and has scored one goal, has withdrawn from the upcoming international schedule to allow time for him to recover from Saturday’s collision.
Gelhardt made his England under-18s debut in September this year and has scored three goals in six appearances for the Young Lions and would have been in contention to start Thursday’s game against Russia.
The 17-year-old had started four of the six games he had featured in and scored a brace whilst captaining the side in the 5-2 win over Poland in October.
On Tuesday the club announced via their official media channels that Gelhardt would miss international duty this time around.
Elsewhere there are full international call ups for Kieffer Moore and David Marshall, who will represent Wales and Scotland respectively in the last round of Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Antonee Robinson will represent the USA under-23s whilst Scott Smith and Jason Weir will represent the Wales under-19s and England under-18s side respectively.
After needing a CT scan on Saturday, it is probably wise that on a precautionary basis Gelhardt has withdrawn from the international schedule.
Paul Cook will be hoping that Gelhardt can now use the next week to fully recover before Wigan prepare to face Stoke City in what could be a pivotal game at the bottom of the table.
If Gelhardt continues to impress during and after his recovery there is no doubt he will continue to feature for the Latics and England under-18s this season.