Jack Butland called up by England for Euro 2012 after John Ruddy breaks finger

 

Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy has been ruled out of this summer's European Championship after breaking a finger.

The 25-year-old was one of two uncapped players included in new manager Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad, but has now been withdrawn after suffering the injury in training yesterday.

Birmingham's Jack Butland, who spent this season on loan at Cheltenham, will now move up from the standby list and will join the squad next week ahead of the second warm-up friendly against Belgium.

Ruddy's injury is unlikely to prove a significant setback for Hodgson as he was seen as a clear third choice behind Manchester City's Joe Hart and West Ham's Robert Green.

The Norwich man said when he was called up last week: "It's a real honour for me and hopefully it's an indication as to how far I have developed as a player with Norwich City and how far we've developed as a squad at Norwich.

"Playing for my country has been a dream of mine, of course it has.

"I think as a professional you always want to progress as high as you can within the game and it's fantastic to get the chance to work with the England staff and players.

"I'm under no illusions as to the quality of Joe Hart and Rob Green and that I will be number three 'keeper. But I'm really looking forward to training with them and getting down to some hard work."

A statement on the Football Association website read: "The FA can confirm that Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy broke his finger in training on Thursday and has been ruled out of UEFA Euro 2012.

"Ruddy was assessed by the England medical staff and will not be able to be part of the tournament. He will travel with the squad to Norway on Friday and watch the game on Saturday evening, but return to his club after arriving back in England.

"Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland, who was previously on the standby list, will join up next week and be part of the squad in preparation for the Belgium game and the tournament in Poland and Ukraine."

Of greater concern are Liverpool full-back Johnson and Manchester United striker Welbeck, neither of whom was able to play any significant part in training yesterday.

Johnson departed after only a few minutes with what the FA said was a "bruised toe" while Welbeck had a solo session as he attempts to recover from an ankle injury sustained in the Manchester derby on April 30.

Neither man is expected to figure in Oslo and with Hodgson's 23-man squad due to be confirmed with UEFA on Tuesday, it is understood the England coach has serious doubts over both men and has not ruled out the possibility of making an 11th-hour change.

Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge is the standby striker, whilst Hodgson has already called Liverpool defender Martin Kelly into his squad as cover for Johnson, in addition to Phil Jagielka, who is already on standby.

There was some good news yesterday as Scott Parker came through his first serious workout since having an injection to ease an Achilles injury last week.

Hodgson is wary of the possibility of a reaction, though, and will monitor the Tottenham man closely over the weekend.

Birmingham manager Chris Hughton backed the inexperience Butland to cope with his rapid elevation through the ranks.

"It'll be great for his experience and development, I don't think he would be fazed by it," Hughton told Sky Sports News.

"He's a mature lad, you can't get where he is at 19 as a goalkeeper without that maturity - obviously you've got to have the ability but you need that maturity and that he does have.

"It's a massive step up but the experience he'll gain working with Ray Clemence and Dave Watson and around the quality of players will be invaluable."

He added: "Funnily enough I initially didn't think too much of him, but then he went to Colombia with the (England) Under-18s and that's where he really shone.

"Then he went with the under-21s and he's had this rise now.

"We've seen a fair amount of him at Cheltenham where he's performed very well, he went back after Christmas and it's been a great part of his development, so we're grateful to Cheltenham.

"My thoughts also have to be with John Ruddy, he's had a wonderful season with Norwich and deserved that opportunity, but they certainly have a worthy replacement in young Jack."

PA

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