Michael Carrick out of England matches with groin injury

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Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has been forced to withdraw from England’s upcoming matches against Slovenia and Scotland with an apparent groin injury.

The 33-year-old, who had not appeared in a match for The Three Lions since last year, picked up the injury while training at St. George’s Park.

The FA said in a statement: “Michael Carrick will return to his club on Wednesday evening after sustaining a minor groin injury in training this morning. There will be no call ups at this time.”

Scans will determine the severity of the injury but it will nevertheless serve as a huge blow for a player who was overlooked for Roy Hodgson’s squad this summer in Brazil. With Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard retired from national team duty, Carrick had been in contention to slot into the holding midfield role.

Unlike his peers, Carrick made clear earlier this summer that he was up for the fight and wished to still be considered for the national team fold.  “No, I was never tempted to (retire),” he said. “I am only 33 now so hopefully I have got a few more years left, so it was never something that crossed my mind. I think you appreciate it a bit more the older you get and the closer you come towards the end of your career. You push things a bit more and being back now is great.”

For now, a return to the England fold will have to wait and Carrick will return to Old Trafford for treatment. It’s been a difficult start to the season for the midfielder, who was sidelined for the first nine Premier League matches of the season with an ankle injury, before featuring against Manchester City and Crystal Palace over the last two weeks.