Kolbeinn Sigthorsson

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Gylfi Sigurdsson in Iceland World Cup squad despite injury

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Iceland has handed Gylfi Sigurdsson a chance to make the 2018 World Cup in Russia, despite his absence from the Everton squad for the last two months with a knee injury.

Sigurdsson has not played for the Toffees since a 2-0 win over Brighton on March 10th, and will not be fit to make the field for Everton’s final game of the Premier League season on Sunday. However, he is expected to recover in time for the tournament. The initial diagnosis for the 28-year-old playmaker’s injury saw him out six to eight weeks, suggesting a potential ligament injury, but earlier Friday, Everton manager Sam Allardyce said Sigurdsson is still “a way off” from returning.

Also in the 23-man squad is injured captain Aron Gunnarsson. The Cardiff City midfielder, who recently celebrated automatic promotion to the Premier League next season, missed nearly four months in the middle of the season due to ankle surgery, and has had knee surgery as recently as late April.

With the two not a sure thing, manager Heimir Hallgrimsson has left 23-year-old Kolbeinn Sigthorsson on the reserve list. The Nantes striker was a member of the 2016 Euro finalist squad, but has seen knee injuries squash his last two seasons and has not played a single club minute this campaign.

Iceland opens World Cup play in Russia with Argentina as the two begin Group D play on June 16. Their other Group D opponents are Croatia and Nigeria.