Lampard injury further highlights concerns over England midfield
After Gareth Barry’s withdrawal from the squad last week, England have been dealt another blow in the midfield area, with Frank Lampard pulling up in training with a thigh injury.
Lampard sustained the knock during a training session on Wednesday morning, and must now face a crucial fitness test on Thursday to determine whether or not he makes Euro 2012.
An official FA statement read, “He will have a scan and be assessed by the England medical team tomorrow. Jordan Henderson has been put on standby notice as cover whilst Lampard continues to be monitored.”
The injury appears particularly disappointing for Lampard, given that he only joined the squad on Tuesday amidst an extended break in the aftermath of Chelsea’s Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich.
A veteran of the squad, his experience is seen as vital to England’s chances in Poland and Ukraine, and the 33-year-old had outlined his belief that Chelsea’s recent success would stand the national side in good stead.
He told reporters last week, “We will try and bring out a spring in our step into the squad, and we want to try and bring the fact that we’ve won something this year, potentially against the odds at some times.”
Meanwhile, his potential replacement in the squad is likely to come under much scrutiny, with many believing he failed to justify a £20million price tag with his performances last season.
Although a creative player in a mould different to other English squad members, Liverpool midfielder Henderson’s scarce experience at international level may not instill great confidence in supporters.
He may only be used sparingly should he make the squad however, but the fitness of Scott Parker now appears even more crucial, bearing in mind Barry’s withdrawal from the squad last week.
Phil Jones is adequately operable in midfield also, but there is no doubting that a player of Frank Lampard’s international experience and calibre would be sorely missed, and could deter punters from backing an England success at Euro 2012 at 9/1.
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