(Reuters) - Burnley defender James Tarkowski said he made a "tough" but right decision to remove himself from England's standby list for the World Cup in Russia to undergo a hernia operation.
Tarkowski was part of manager Gareth Southgate's five-man reserve list after rising to prominence during a stellar Premier League season which earned him a first international cap in a 1-1 draw against Italy in March.
"I had been struggling for a while with it and I knew at some point I had to get it done," the 25-year-old told Burnley's website.
"It was tough with the England one because I was quite new to it and it never looks well when someone just pulls out of the squad, especially before they even turn up.
"But I feel it was the right one to make going into next season."
Tarkowski will be hoping to regain fitness ahead of Burnley's first foray into Europe for 51 years after their seventh-placed finish earned them a spot in the Europa League second qualifying round. The first leg is on July 26.
England opened their World Cup campaign with a 2-1 victory over Tunisia in a Group G encounter on Monday.
(Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)