England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has been pulled out of the Lions’ Euro 2012 squad due to a thigh injury that left his availability highly doubtful to national team doctors.
News of Lampard’s thigh tear emerged after Wednesday morning’s training session and the 33-year old Champions League winner was immediately sent for scans to determine the severity of the injury.
It has now emerged that Lampard will join Manchester City’s Gareth Barry on the sidelines, with Liverpool youngster Jordan Henderson being called upon to fill the void.
“It’s a huge blow for the team, especially coming after the loss of another senior player in Gareth Barry. 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,” Hodgson told reporters late Thursday evening.
The manager added: “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.”
In addition to contributing throughout England’s Euro 2012 qualification campaign, Lampard was also about to become a national hero in the 2010 FIFA World Cup when his thunderous strike from distance appeared to have brought the Lions level with Germany at 2-2.
However, despite the shot clearly crossing the goal line, officials felt in hindsight that the ball had not gone over the line. Germany went on to send England out of the competition with a 4-1 win and Lampard’s heroics did not even make it to the books.
Hodgson will now be hoping that Tottenham’s Scott Parker, who is struggling for full fitness in recent days, is ready to partner skipper Steven Gerrard in the midfield by the time England kick-off their Euro 2012 campaign against France on June 11.