The Sports Matrix: Friday 1 June 2012


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The Independent Online

England fret over Parker fitness after losing Lampard

England have doubts over Scott Parker's fitness for Euro 2012, and face entering the tournament with one fully fit central midfielder, after Frank Lampard's withdrawal from the squad last night.

Parker should start against Belgium at Wembley tomorrow and against France in 10 days' time, but he is carrying an Achilles injury. He missed the last four games of the domestic season for Tottenham, and played 56 minutes of last weekend's friendly in Oslo.

England are already struggling in midfield after yesterday's confirmation that Lampard will miss the tournament, having pulled up with a thigh injury in training on Wednesday. The Football Association will today approach Uefa for permission to call up Liverpool's 21-year-old Jordan Henderson as a replacement, and needs to show that Lampard's injury was not pre-existing.

This leaves the manager, Roy Hodgson, with Steven Gerrard as his only fully fit senior central midfielder – and Gerrard has struggled this season. Otherwise, Hodgson will have to ask James Milner or Phil Jones to play there. MORE

Murray beats back injury to triumph

Andy Murray overcame a back injury and losing the first set to make the third round at Roland Garros for the fifth year in a row. After losing the opener to Jarkko Nieminen, the Scot recovered to prevail 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in two and a half hours. MORE

Van Commenee denies Ennis jibe

Charles van Commenee has denied he was the UK Athletics official who called heptathlete Jessica Ennis "fat". "I can imagine that people think [it] fits my profile," the head coach said. "But I have never called Jessica 'fat'. There is no reason for it." MORE

Bolt surges back to form in Rome

Usain Bolt ran a superb 100m at last night's Diamond League meeting in Rome, a marked improvement on his poor time in Ostrava last week. The Jamaican won in 9.76sec at the Stadio Olimpico, ahead of countryman Asafa Powell in second on 9.91. MORE

Liverpool settle Rodgers bill

Brendan Rodgers is expected to be unveiled as Liverpool's new manager today after the club agreed to pay the full £5m compensation to his former side, Swansea City. That sum may rise as Rodgers seeks to bring in his own back-room staff. MORE

Pietersen retires from short game

England batsman Kevin Pietersen retired from international limited- overs cricket yesterday. He said he had wanted to play in the ICC World Twenty20 in September, but the ECB would not allow him to stay in 20-over cricket and cut out the 50-over game. MORE

West Indies go for exciting Narine

The West Indies have called up mystery spinner Sunil Narine to replace the injured Kemar Roach for next week's third Test. Narine has played just six first-class games but was very successful for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. MORE

Lukaku refuses to share Chelsea joy

Romelu Lukaku has said he felt unable to take part in celebrating Chelsea's trophy wins last season after playing a peripheral part. "I had no part in it at all," the Belgian said. "I don't like people talking to me about the Champions League. It wasn't me." MORE

Lambert quits Norwich for Villa

Paul Lambert's move to Aston Villa was inching closer after the 42-year-old offered his resignation to current club Norwich. The Scot helped his club to successive promotions but now has his sights set on succeeding Alex McLeish at Villa Park. MORE

Profile: Brendan Rodgers

Although Rodgers has won only 12 Premier League games, there is much which will attract Liverpool's owners: his foreign knowledge, his speaking Spanish, his pastoral care and his football obsession. MORE