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Ashley Cole ruled out of England's World Cup qualifier against Moldova


Ashley Cole was today ruled out of England's opening World Cup qualifier against Moldova due to an ankle injury.

Cole has been struggling since Chelsea's UEFA Super Cup defeat against Atletico Madrid on Friday and will not travel to Chisinau for this Friday's Group H clash.

The 31-year-old will be reassessed on Sunday to determine whether he would be fit for next Tuesday's home game against Ukraine.

The injury has ended Cole's hopes of becoming the first full-back to win 100 caps during this month's double-header.

He is currently on 98 and will have to wait until at least next month to reach his century.

It was unclear today whether his ankle injury was related to the long-standing issue that has needed to be managed after matches for club and country.

He will return to Chelsea for treatment this week before linking up again with his international team-mates.

England boss Roy Hodgson is unlikely to call up cover, with Leighton Baines and Ryan Bertrand having both been named in the original squad.

Striker Andy Carroll had already withdrawn from what had been a 24-man party after suffering a hamstring injury on his West Ham debut on Saturday.

Hodgson was already without Wayne Rooney, who suffered a gashed leg playing for Manchester United before the squad was named.