Wales winger Gareth Bale has pulled out of Saturday's Euro 2012 clash against England with a hamstring injury.
The Football Association of Wales confirmed this morning the player would take no part in the Millennium Stadium encounter after suffering tightness in the muscle.
The 21-year-old's training has been curtailed this week and, following a scan, is now returning to his club Tottenham for further assessment.
The FAW said in a statement that Bale, who played his first 90 minutes since suffering a back injury in January against West Ham last weekend, was injured prior to joining up with the squad.
The statement read: "Due to a hamstring problem, Gareth Bale has had to withdraw from the Wales squad to face England on Saturday.
"He felt tight last week during training with his club.
"After playing 90 minutes on Saturday he felt some muscle tightness.
"Initially, this was expected to be muscle soreness after playing his first game.
"On joining up with the Welsh squad he was kept off his feet in training for two days to recover.
"As he still felt tight in the warm-up on Tuesday, Gareth was pulled out of the session. He did not train at all on Wednesday and was sent for a scan.
"The scan revealed that Gareth Bale picked up his injury last week."
The loss of Bale is a major blow for Gary Speed ahead of his first competitive international as manager and a concern for Spurs with the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid in 12 days' time.
Bale, 21, has only recently returned to action after a six-week lay-off with a back injury, making two substitute appearances and one start - Saturday's goalless draw with West Ham - for Spurs.
Prior to that Bale had enjoyed an oustanding season and his fitness is crucial to Spurs' hopes of progressing further in the elite European competition.Reuse content