John Terry is out of England's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine tomorrow with an ankle problem, making it a total of 11 players now lost to injury by Roy Hodgson in this international break.
The England squad is well stocked for centre-backs and there is a good chance that Phil Jagielka will get the nod ahead of Gary Cahill tomorrow because of the understanding that he and Joleon Lescott developed playing together at Everton. There are no plans to replace Terry at this late stage and he has gone back to Chelsea to continue treatment.
His club face Queen's Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Saturday, a game which is not insignificant given the allegations that came out of the fixture last year that Terry had racially abused Anton Ferdinand. He was cleared of the offence in a magistrates' court in July but still faces a Football Association charge over the incident.
Terry's injury is not thought to be severe, although he is a doubt for Saturday's game. He joins club-mate Ashley Cole as well as Adam Johnson and Andy Carroll as players who have withdrawn from Hodgson's current 24-man squad. The England manager was already without Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Jack Wilshere, Gareth Barry and Scott Parker when he selected the group for the first two World Cup qualifiers.
Terry picked up the ankle injury in the first half of the game against Moldova on Friday and Hodgson and his medical staff were aware of it at half-time of the match in Chisinau. By the time he landed awkwardly on the ankle in the second half, England had used up all their substitutions. Hodgson offered Terry the chance to come off with 20 minutes left but the defender rejected the suggestion.
Hodgson said on Friday: "I'd have liked to have taken him off, and we did suggest we'd play with 10. He's a warrior, though, so he pooh-poohed the suggestion he should come off with 20 minutes to go. He took a kick on the ankle in the first half and then twisted it slightly when he landed in front of the bench in the second half."
The FA has sold 61,000 tickets so far for tomorrow's Ukraine game at Wembley and is cautiously optimistic that interest in the next 36 hours will push the crowd closer to 70,000. Around 5,000 Games Makers from the London 2012 Olympics have taken up the offer to buy discounted tickets for £20.12.
There is also expected to be a significant number of Olympic medallists paraded on the pitch at half-time during the match. So far 15 have taken up the offer, including judo under-78kg silver medallist Gemma Gibbons and shooting's double trap gold medallist Peter Wilson, although there could be more following today's parade in London.
Having scored his first international goal in 32 caps on Friday night against Moldova, James Milner said yesterday that he hoped he would add a goalscoring dimension to his game, although he pointed out that he has been at his best in front of goal when played in his preferred central position.
"I am definitely capable of scoring more goals and that is something I obviously want to add," Milner said. "It wasn't really bothering me [not having scored] but I think I had done everything else, hit the side-netting, and inside the posts and keepers had pulled off good saves as well. It is one of those things. Hopefully now I have got that first one there will be a few more."Reuse content