Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s ankle injury has put his World Cup hopes in doubt.

Chelsea midfielder Loftus-Cheek, who is on loan at Crystal Palace, was expected to be sidelined for a matter of weeks but Eagles boss Roy Hodgson admits the initial diagnosis was incorrect.

The 21-year-old, who has not featured since December 28, enjoyed an impressive start to his Selhurst Park career, which resulted in England manager Gareth Southgate handing him his senior debut in November.

His hopes of making the plane to Russia in the summer are currently in the balance, however, with Hodgson unsure when Loftus-Cheek will be available again.

"The injury is more severe than we originally thought, or perhaps hoped, it would be," said Hodgson, confirming Loftus-Cheek may need an operation.

"I would be very disappointed, surgery or no surgery, if he's not playing before the end of the season.

"We certainly want him to be and I would presume Chelsea would want him to be because they might like to have a player who's going to be selected for England in their squad but there's literally nothing we can do about it.

"The only way he can make himself available for Crystal Palace or England is to be fit and at the moment that isn't the case."

Loftus-Cheek is receiving treatment from doctors at Palace and his parent club.

When asked whether he could be a doubt for the World Cup, which kicks off on June 14, Hodgson replied: "I don't know.

"I don't want to go into that at the moment because we don't know how long it would take after surgery to get him fit again."