About the time dark clouds were hovering with menace over England’s glorious moment, the Diamond Jubilee, the latest dark cloud of news broke over England’s Euro 2012 campaign – and just when hopes were rising that a younger Three Lions version could perhaps surprise some people at Poland-Ukraine.
Gary Cahill has been ruled out of the tournament by injury after an ugly (and somewhat controversial) collision yesterday with goalkeeper Joe Hart left the Chelsea center back with a jaw broken in two places.
The punctuates a week of dire injury news around Camp Roy Hodgson; Important central midfielders Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard were both ruled out of the tournament by injury.
England’s FA issued this statement this morning:
Gary Cahill has been withdrawn from England’s Euro 2012 squad following the injury he suffered in the match against Belgium. The Chelsea defender has two fractures of his jaw, one either side. The England medical team have been in close contact overnight with Cahill’s club doctors, who will treat him.
Liverpool defender Martin Kelly will be called into the squad – subject to agreement from UEFA’s medical team. Kelly trained with the England players last week and was part of the group that travelled to Norway. John Terry has been scanned this morning and given the all-clear. He will be re-assessed on Tuesday when the team regroup.”
The controversy: Saturday’s collision was the result of an unneeded shove from Belgium winger Dries Mertens during an England-Belgium friendly (a 1-0 England win). Cahill had position on Mertens as a ball rolled at speed toward Hart, with both players in pursuit. Mertens shoved Cahill into Hart, resulting in the double fracture.
Said an angry Hodgson after the game: “I wasn’t too happy about it. Unfortunate is too kind a word. When a striker is chasing a defender who is feeding a ball to the goalkeeper, those nudges and pushes take the defender into the goalkeeper. It is something if you have been a goalkeeper you take very unkindly to. The referee gave him a yellow card, which he deserved. Unfortunately for us, the consequences might be a lot more than a yellow card because a fracture is a distinct possibility.”
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