England suffered a major blow
before the start of Euro 2012 when experienced midfielder Frank
Lampard was on Thursday ruled out of next month's tournament
with a thigh injury.
Lampard, who has won 90 caps since making his international
debut in 1999, pulled his thigh in training on Wednesday and was
examined by the England medical staff following a scan.
England have already lost Gareth Barry to injury this week
and fellow midfielder Scott Parker has only just returned to
action after struggling with an Achilles problem.
"It's a huge blow for the team, especially coming after the
loss of another senior player in Gareth Barry," England manager
Roy Hodgson said on the FA website.
"The fact that the doctor cannot guarantee Frank could take
part in any of the group matches means we have to replace him in
the central midfield area."
"Apart from it being a huge blow to me and the team, I'm
especially disappointed for Frank himself. He has been in very
good form and was looking forward to the tournament.
"He made a huge contribution towards us qualifying for the
Euros so it is cruel to be forced out through injury just before
The FA said Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, capped
twice, will be called into the squad subject to agreement from
UEFA's medical team.
Everton's Phil Jagielka replaced Barry in the squad on
Monday after the Manchester City midfielder tore a muscle in his
lower abdomen during Saturday's 1-0 friendly win over Norway in
England play Belgium in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday
and open their Euro 2012 campaign against France in Donetsk on
June 11. Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine are also in Group D.
Chelsea's Lampard was not certain to start against France
given that Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard was handed the
captain's armband by Hodgson.
While Lampard and Gerrard are key men for their clubs, they
have never flourished as a partnership in central midfield for
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