Injured Frank Lampard to miss Euro 2012
England midfielder Frank Lampard has been ruled out of Euro 2012 after a scan on the thigh injury he suffered in training.
Lampard sustained the problem while training with the England squad on Wednesday and boss Roy Hodgson decided the Chelsea star would have to be replaced when tests showed he wouldn't be fit for any of his side's three group matches.
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has been called into the squad in Lampard's place, subject to agreement from UEFA's medical team.
"Frank Lampard has been ruled out of Euro 2012 due to injury," a statement on the FA's website confirmed.
L"The Chelsea midfielder pulled his thigh in training on Wednesday and was examined today (Thursday) by the England medical staff following a scan."
Although Lampard wasn't certain to beat out Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker for the central midfield berths in Hodgson's starting line-up at the Euros, it is still another major blow for Hodgson as he has been in superb form of late, playing key roles in Chelsea's Champions League and FA Cup triumphs over the final weeks of the season.
Hodgson must be starting to fear England's Euro challenge is cursed as he has already had to deal with Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry's withdrawal from the squad with a tear of his lower abdomen suffered in last weekend's friendly win over Norway.
As if that wasn't bad enough, Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker, a likely candidate for Hodgson's squad, was ruled out when he injured his ankle on the final day of the Premier League season, while Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy had to pull out of the squad with a broken finger.
Hodgson has already gambled on the fitness of Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck, who hasn't played since April 30 when he sustained an ankle injury in the derby defeat at Manchester City, and Liverpool defender Glen Johnson, who has been struggling with an infected toe.
"It's a huge blow for the team, especially coming after the loss of another senior player in Gareth Barry," Hodgson said.
"The fact that the doctor cannot guarantee Frank could take part in any of the group matches means we have to replace him in the central midfield area.
"Apart from it being a huge blow to me and the team, I'm especially disappointed for Frank himself.
"He has been in very good form and was looking forward to the tournament.
"He made a huge contribution towards us qualifying for the Euros so it is cruel to be forced out through injury just before the tournament."
Lampard, who had only just joined up with the England squad after an extended break following the Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich, could be forgiven for fearing he has missed his last chance to shine at a major international tournament.
The 33-year-old is approaching the twilight of his career and Hodgson may well turn to younger midfielders like Jack Wilshere and Tom Cleverley during the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Hodgson has one more friendly, against Belgium at Wembley on Saturday, before his 23-man squad fly to their Polish base next week ahead of their Euro opener against France on June 11.