Roy Hodgson is down one Man United defender for the Euros
Roy Hodgson’s job of picking the England Euro 2012 squad next week has been made a little easier after it was revealed that Chris Smalling will miss the tournament with a groin injury.
Smalling picked up the injury in the latter stages of Manchester United’s victory over Swansea on Sunday, but was forced to remain on the pitch until the finish because central defensive partner Rio Ferdinand was also hobbling and with only one substitution left, the removal of Ferdinand was deemed more pressing by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
The injury has turned out to be worse than originally feared and Fergie confirmed this morning that the 22-year old will miss the tournament as a result.
"Chris has suffered a bad injury," said Ferguson.
"It is a groin muscle injury and he will miss the European Championships.
"We are assessing what to do at the moment but it is a bad injury."
Whether or not Smalling would have made the England squad for the Euros is debatable as he has made only three appearances for his country to date, but his absence means that the possibility of John Terry being left behind – something that Hodgson is believed to have been considering because of the ex-skipper’s potential divisive influence in the squad – is not as likely as a result.
The United boss had more positive news on striker Danny Welbeck, saying: "He is still out just now but he should be fit for the Euros.”
Missing what would be his first senior international tournament is a big blow for Smalling, but he will be available for selection for the Team Great Britain Olympic Team later this summer if he recovers from injury in time.
In fact, himself and Ryan Giggs are the only Manchester United players likely to feature at the London Olympics after Fergie made his stance on the tournament quite clear yesterday.