England soccer legend David Beckham – arguably the biggest British import since the Beatles – suffered an heel injury Sunday night that is expected to prevent him from playing in June's World Cup.
A bit of England died Sunday night.
Hero, patriot, legend, hearthrob, He Who Bends It will not be playing in the World Cup.
"THE END OF THE WORLD" screamed one tabloid.
After the 50-minute-operation was completed Monday afternoon, the surgeon said Beckham required at least four to five months recovery.
But how much will Beckham's absence really hurt team England at the World Cup starting in June?
Short answer: Not much.
"England under [Italian coach Fabio Capello] can go all the way, with or without Becks. They have the talent and the coach needed. ... Beckham was a sidebar."
Few disagree with this assessment.
"The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder has remained a mainstay of newspaper coverage worldwide and his movie star looks still help attract huge crowds wherever he goes, but he will be 35 when this year's tournament kicks off on June 11," writes the Associated Press. "Younger and faster players are on hand to fill his preferred position on the right of midfield and he was only going to be an occasional substitute for his country – albeit the most high-profile bench-warmer in South Africa."