Lampard to miss Euros

England’s Euro 2012 hopes suffered a major blow yesterday after Frank Lampard was ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury.

Roy Hodgson was informed the tear Lampard sustained would not heal in time for the Chelsea midfielder to feature in any of England’s three group games, the last of which is against co-hosts Ukraine in Donetsk on April 19 a fact that left the England boss with little option other than to tell Lampard he was out.

Subject to UEFA clearance, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson will replace the 33-year-old.

“It’s a huge blow for the team, especially coming after the loss of another senior player in Gareth Barry,” said Hodgson. “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.

“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.”

Meanwhile, a potentially serious injury to key midfielder Yann M’Vila took the shine off an otherwise encouraging 2-0 victory for France over Serbia last night.

Rennes midfielder M’Vila took a kick to the ankle from Dusan Tadic in the opening exchanges and although he tried to carry on he left the pitch in obvious distress with just four minutes on the clock.

His team-mates went on to win with ease, scoring early goals through Franck Ribery and Florent Malouda while creating several other chances, but it will be the diagnosis for his central lynchpin that will most concern manager Laurent Blanc, with Euro 2012 imminent. M’Vila later returned to the bench without crutches, but a scan is still expected on the ankle with a clear concern as to his fitness.

Elsewhere Germany stumbled to an unimpressive 2-0 win over Israel in Leipzig. Mario Gomez and Andre Schurrle got the goals.

Kiriakos Papadopoulos scored the only goal in the 24th minute as Greece completed their preparations for Euro 2012 by claiming a 1-0 win over Armenia.

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