Daniel Sturridge ruled out of Ukraine qualifier with injury


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The Independent Football

Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out of England's World Cup qualifier with Ukraine in Kiev on Tuesday.

Sturridge missed Friday night's win over Moldova at Wembley after aggravating a thigh injury in Liverpool's triumph over Manchester United last weekend.

It had been hoped the striker would have recovered sufficiently for him to report back for duty this evening.

However, the Football Association has confirmed that will not happen.

"The FA can confirm that Daniel Sturridge will not return to the England squad ahead of the World Cup qualifier with Ukraine on Tuesday," said the FA in a statement.

"Club England medical staff have been in constant contact with their counterparts at Liverpool football club since he returned there on Thursday, his injury has not progressed as had been hoped and it is now clear that Sturridge will not be fit for the match in Kiev on Tuesday evening."

It has been confirmed there will be no replacement.

"No additions will be made to Roy Hodgson's squad of 23 players who travel to Ukraine on Sunday evening," added the statement.

Following last night's game Hodgson admitted he had little hope of Sturridge recovering, although he was refusing to give up hope given how badly stretched his attacking options are.

Wayne Rooney had already been ruled out with a nasty head wound and Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck - who scored twice against Moldova - will also miss the trip after picking up a harsh booking, which means he is suspended.

In addition, Jermain Defoe is lacking match practice after failing to make a Premier League start for Tottenham this season.

Defoe will travel to Ukraine, but Hodgson seems certain to keep faith with Rickie Lambert, who has become the first England player to score in his first two international games for 37 years.

James Milner seems set to replace Welbeck on the left-hand side of England's attack.

Following Friday night's results, England are currently top of Group H on goal difference from Montenegro, who have played a game more.

However, Ukraine are only a point adrift and have San Marino amongst their final three opponents so England cannot afford to hand over the initiative at this late stage of the qualifying campaign.