Charlton Athletic FC goalkeeper, Joojo Wollacott, is set to team up with Black Stars teammates in Qatar after undergoing a successful operation on a fractured finger.
The 25-year-old was left out of Ghana’s final 26-man squad for the tournament after picking up an injury during the warm-up at Burton Albion last weekend.
“He had an operation yesterday which has gone very well and now it’s the rehabilitation process,” explained Charlton coach Ben Garner in an interview.
“There’s not much you can do really; it will just be a case of splinting it and keeping it mobile.
“He’s still due to go out and join Ghana and have that experience. He’s been a key part of them getting there so he fully deserves to go and be out there with the squad and experience the highs and lows of a World Cup.
“But he will be out longer than he would have been if he was going, playing and coming back,” added the boss. “Our priority is his well-being physically and mentally, making sure he gets the support that he needs.
“I was so disappointed for him over the weekend and for a good couple of days if I’m honest. I care for these players and I want the best for them. Having seen Jojo’s progression over the last 16 months or so, it’s been incredible. The talent was there, he just needed the opportunity and he’s taken those opportunities with both hands.
“He’s had a fantastic season in League Two, he’s become Ghana’s number one, he’s had a really strong start to life in League One here with us and then he’s about to go to the World Cup so it’s a devastating blow for him. What I will say knowing him is that he’s got a fantastic mentality. He will come back stronger, he will come back better and he will put the disappointment behind him and use it as fuel for the rest of his career.”
Asked if Wollacott could be available before the end of the calendar year, Garner said: “I wouldn’t want to put a timeframe like that, but I would certainly say it’s touch and go.
“It will be longer than it would have been if he had gone to the World Cup, that’s for sure,” the gaffer continued.
“I think we would have had him back sooner, without any shadow of a doubt, from the World Cup rather than the injury.”
The Black Stars, who are making their fourth World Cup appearance, arrived in Doha on Friday night in a grand style.
Ghana will open their campaign against Portugal on November 24 at Stadium 974 in Doha.
Four days later, the Black Stars return to action with a clash with South Korea at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan.
Ghana will wrap up its group stage adventure with their much-anticipated encounter with Uruguay at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah.