Defenders in fitness race for Euro 2004

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

England has defensive problems only six weeks ahead of the Euro 2004 finals, with several key players fighting injuries.

Defenders in fitness race for Euro 2004

London:

England has defensive problems only six weeks ahead of the Euro 2004 finals, with several key players fighting injuries. Of England's top central defenders, John Terry is the only one healthy going into the June 12-July 4 tournament. Terry will probably partner Sol Campbell in England's starting lineup. Campbell is nursing a groin injury sustained while playing for Arsenal. "I've got to look after myself," Campbell said as he bids to help the Gunners remain unbeaten this season. Of England's other top defenders, Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand is in the middle of an eight-month drug ban, Gareth Southgate has injured knee ligaments, and Jonathan Woodgate could be sidelined for up to three months after tearing a thigh muscle in Newcastle's 2-1 win over Chelsea on April 25. "The physiotherapists will work hard to get Jonathan fit, but right at this moment in time, I have to tell you, his chances of playing are very slim," Robson said. Tottenham's Ledley King is suffering from a hip injury. Eriksson has acknowledged Manchester United's Wes Brown is "still not what he was before injury." Eriksson has been forced to check other options. Assistant Tord Grip has been monitoring Tottenham's Anthony Gardner, Fulham's Zat Knight and Liverpool midfielders Jamie Carragher and Danny Mills. Eriksson names his squad next month. England plays two warm-up matches in Manchestera€"against Japan on June 1 and Iceland on June 5a€"before travelling to Portugal. (AP)

Topics : Football
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