Granit Xhaka escapes major injury ahead of the World Cup

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has escaped a serious knee injury during a training session with Switzerland. The 25-year-old recently suffered a nasty collision with compatriot Valon Behrami in training and reports thereafter suggested that he could miss his country’s campaign at the summer World Cup.

However, fortunately for him, the injury appears only a minor one and the Swiss team doctor has now confirmed that he should return to normal duties at the World Cup, he said: “I'm very relieved. We could already see that the ligaments were intact, but we wanted to play it safe, also with regard to the meniscus. We are very relieved that it is only a painful bone bruise - and very grateful that we were able to do an MRI scan late in the evening.”

Xhaka has been one of the most influential players for Switzerland in the centre of the park and he has managed 61 appearances for the nation to date. There have been concerns over his discipline in the past but the midfielder has missed just game for the Swiss through suspension over the past two years.

Switzerland have been pitted in a relatively testing World Cup group this summer where they have been pitted against Brazil, Serbia and Costa Rica and they will surely need their players in the best shape in order to progress beyond the group. Brazil are genuinely favourites to reach the round of 16 based on their recent superiority and it could be a tussle between the Swiss and Serbia for the second spot, though Costa Rica may yet have their say.

Meanwhile, Xhaka is expected to sit out Switzerland’s international friendly against Spain on June 3 but he could return for the final warm-up game against Japan on Friday. Xhaka did not have the best on seasons at club level with Arsenal last term but he has shown on previous occasions that he can step up to the occasion for the national team.