London: Injured England defender Ashley Cole`s chances of playing in this summer`s World Cup are over after it was revealed that he will not play for Chelsea again this season.
Cole broke his left ankle while playing in his club`s Premier League game against Everton on February 11, and underwent an operation to have three pins inserted in the bone.
He has spent three weeks undergoing intensive rehabilitation, but there is still major swelling around the injury.
Stamford Bridge medical team fear his recovery has fallen behind schedule due to the seriousness of the injury.
"Ashley is still in a bad way. We were hoping he would be further on in his recovery but the signs are not good as far as the World Cup is concerned. At best, it is touch and go for South Africa,” quoted a Chelsea source, as saying.
"It`s hugely unlikely he will play another league game this season and that only leaves the FA Cup or Champions League finals to prove his fitness," the source added.
England manager Fabio Capello`s 30-man preliminary squad joins up on May 17.