Cahill becomes latest injury casualty for England ahead of Euro 2012 tournament

 

 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 

 

 

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, pictured above clashing with goalkeeper Hart, has never featured at a major tournament for England


 

Manager Roy Hodgson was left with more injury woe after news emerged that England defender Gary Cahill has been ruled out of Euro 2012 with a double fracture of his jaw.

The Chelsea centre-back suffered the injury when he collided with his own goalkeeper Joe Hart during the 1-0 win over Belgium in Saturday's friendly just nine days before the Group D opener for the Three Lions in Poland & Ukraine against France.

Liverpool's Martin Kelly has been called up as his replacement although this is subject to approval from UEFA with the 22-year old right-back not listed among the five stand-by players. However, Hodgson received better news with fellow defender John Terry's hamstring injury given the all-clear after a scan revealed his problem was not serious. 

An FA statement said: "Gary Cahill 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 moving forward."

England boss Roy Hodgson has already lost goalkeeper John Ruddy after he fractured a finger in training as well as midfielders Gareth Barry with a pulled quad muscle and Frank Lampard's thigh injury from his original 23-man party for the European Championship finals.

Liverpool full-back Kelly made his international debut as a substitute against Norway last weekend while his inclusion has brought widespread criticism and scrutiny as he has been called up ahead of the more experienced defensive duo of Micah Richards and Rio Ferdinand. Former captain Ferdinand, who has won 81 caps for his country, and Manchester City's Richards, who has enjoyed a fantastic season leading his club to the Premier League title, but were left out of Hodgson's initial squad.

Cahill looked in line to start alongside Chelsea team-mate Terry against France in England's Euro 2012 opener in Donetsk on 11th June however his absence now opens the door for either Manchester City's Joleon Lescott or Everton's Phil Jagielka to partner the Blues skipper in Ukraine.

Manchester United's Phil Jones is the only other recognised central defender while the versatile youngster may be needed in midfield following the injuries to Lampard and Barry with skipper Steven Gerrard, a not fully-fit Scott Parker and Jordan Henderson the central midfield options while Manchester City's James Milner provides a further choice.

27-year old former Bolton defender Cahill collided with Hart after a shove in the back from Belgium winger Dries Mertens in the 17th minute of the match at Wembley Stadium. Hodgson reported after the game: "I wasn't too happy about the challenge. 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." PSV winger Mertens has since apologised for his push on Cahill.

Kelly's call-up means that there are now six Liverpool players in the 23-man squad travelling to Ukraine and Poland for England- more than from any other club despite their eighth placed finish in last season's Premier League.

 

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