Football: Flowers may face summer at home

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The Independent Online
TIM FLOWERS left Ewood Park on Tuesday night with his arm in a sling, fearing that his dream of playing at the World Cup finals may be over.

The Blackburn Rovers and England goalkeeper was substituted during the 2-1 home win over Barnsley, after aggravating a shoulder injury when he fell awkwardly in the penalty as he punched the ball. He was due to have a scan on his left shoulder yesterday, and is fearful that he may need surgery which would jeopardise his place in Glenn Hoddle's squad.

"I couldn't lift my arm above my head and there was no way I could carry on," said Flowers, who added that his last scan in February "showed wear and tear and some arthritis".

John McGinlay has lost his chance of a summer in France. Bradford City's Scottish international striker has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an Achilles problem.

Another forward who may not make the World Cup finals is Colombia's Faustino Asprilla. The former Newcastle man, now back in Italy with Parma, has aggravated a recurring groin injury and has been told to rest for 40 days.

The Scottish Football Association has had some success in securing extra tickets for the World Cup finals. Extra tickets have been given to Scotland for the two first-round fixtures against Morocco and Norway. "That means we have around 2,500 tickets for each of those two matches," David Findlay, an SFA spokesman, said.

England have arranged to play a B international against Russia B at Queen's Park Rangers' Loftus Road stadium on 21 April to give some World Cup fringe candidates a run-out. The senior side meet Portugal at Wembley the following day.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have had a setback in their quest to add the Republic of Ireland striker David Connolly to their squad. The former Watford man, now with Feyenoord, was signed on loan prior to last week's transfer deadline - but his Dutch club are delaying the release of his registration.

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