Daniel Sturridge ruled out

Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out of England's World Cup qualifier against Moldova on Friday but could be fit to face Ukraine.

Last Updated: 05/09/13 at 17:31 Post Comment   

Daniel Sturridge: Ruled out of Moldova game

Daniel Sturridge: Ruled out of Moldova game

England manager Roy Hodgson bemoaned his bad luck as Daniel Sturridge and Steven Caulker joined a growing list of injury absentees from Friday night's World Cup qualifying game against Moldova.

Liverpool striker Sturridge has returned to Anfield due to a thigh problem while Hodgson revealed Cardiff defender Caulker had turned his ankle in training.

Both are expected to enter contention for Tuesday's game in Ukraine but Hodgson was reticent over Sturridge's involvement.

He told Sky Sports News: "We've not exactly been lucky have we? Now there's Daniel and there was Wayne (Rooney) and two potential right-backs in Glen Johnson and Phil Jones, and before that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

"So we have lost five players and a few weeks ago I was really banking on them.

"It's a great opportunity for the ones who maybe wouldn't have got a game had they been available.

"(Sturridge) has worked hard at his treatment and the initial prognosis was that he wouldn't be fit for either of them but he didn't accept that.

"He's worked very hard and had the necessary treatment but I think it will be touch and go.

"On Sunday evening we'll have a training session before heading for Ukraine. If he passes it then he'll be with us, otherwise then he'll be staying with Liverpool."

Referring to Caulker, he added: "Unfortunately, in training he turned his ankle. It's not a serious matter but it will keep him out of the game tomorrow night.

"It won't keep him out of the Ukraine game, he's expected to do some running tomorrow evening, but he won't be on the bench tomorrow night."

Hodgson then diplomatically suggested that, although the training-ground injuries were unfortunate and left him with limited options, they had spared him a selection headache.

"To be honest I think we've got too many players," he added. "We're only allowed 20 outfield players and three goalkeepers and with Caulker and Sturridge it would have been too many.

"So they've been kind enough to take the decision out of our hands."

A question asking whether the former Liverpool and Fulham boss would rotate his thin squad entirely before the trip to eastern Europe was given short shrift.

Home games against current leaders Montenegro and Poland complete England's World Cup campaign in October and Hodgson is treating each match with due deference.

"I think these four games are all important," he said.

"I don't subscribe to the theory that this is an easy one and then there's a difficult one, then you've got a fairly easy one and a fairly difficult one. I don't quantify games in that way.

"Moldova - after our initial victory over them, where we took them by surprise and had a very good win - have become very hard to beat and we know they're going to be hard to beat tomorrow night.

"I need my best players to do it."


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