LONDON (AFP) –
John Terry has been ruled out of England’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Tuesday after failing to recover from the ankle injury he suffered in Friday’s win over Moldova.
Terry damaged his ankle in the first half in Chisinau and aggravated the problem when he landed awkwardly after the break, but the Chelsea defender initially refused to come off as England had already used all their substitutes.
He was eventually forced off in the closing minutes and England manager Roy Hodgson admitted after the match that he was keeping his fingers crossed that Terry hadn’t caused further damage by playing through the pain barrier.
But Terry’s ankle was still causing his discomfort despite treatment over the weekend and the centre-back won’t be available for Ukraine’s visit to Wembley.
“Following further treatment from the England medical staff today (Sunday), John Terry will not be available for the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Tuesday,” a statement on the FA’s website confirmed.
“Terry suffered an ankle injury in the game with Moldova, and has returned to his club.”
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is likely to replace Terry and partner Joleon Lescott at centre-back, with Everton‘s Phil Jagielka also in contention.
Terry’s absence is a further blow to Hodgson’s plans as Ashley Cole had already been ruled out with the ankle injury that caused the Chelsea left-back to miss the 5-0 win in Moldova.
It has been an injury-plagued opening to the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign for Hodgson, who had already lost strikers Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll and winger Adam Johnson in the run-up to the Moldova match.
Terry’s Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard admits the defender’s injury is a major setback ahead of the Ukraine match.
“He is a top player and he is experienced at playing these qualifying games. It is a big blow,” Lampard said.
“We are blessed with fantastic back-up, whoever comes in. We need someone in the squad to step up and I am sure they will do just that.”
England beat Ukraine 1-0 at Euro 2012, but Lampard, who scored twice in the win over Moldova, warned against complacency.
“Ukraine is potentially a tricky game,” he said. “There is talent in their team and they will come here with a desire to beat us but we need to be on the ball.
“It is the early stages, it’s a very important game, they have the potential to be up there and in the mix.
“It is a tough game for us, they have some technically very good players and are very organised, they will bring another tough game to the table.”