England’s preparations for the European Championships have taken yet another setback. According to The Guardian, Gary Cahill will miss the tournament thanks to a fractured jaw that he picked up in the win over Belgium.
A second scan on the injury confirmed the Chelsea defender suffered a double jaw fracture after colliding with Joe Hart following a push by Belgium’s Dries Mertens in the first half.
Liverpool’s Martin Kelly, who made his International debut against Norway last weekend, will now take his place in the squad, subject to UEFA’s approval.
It is yet another blow for Roy Hodgson, as he's already lost John Ruddy, Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard from his original 23-man squad.
After the game, the England manager was quite frank in his assessment of the injury picked up by Cahill. Hodgson said:
I wasn't too happy about it. Unfortunate is too kind a word. When a striker is chasing a defender who is feeding a ball to the goalkeeper, those nudges and pushes take the defender into the goalkeeper. It is something if you have been a goalkeeper you take very unkindly to. The referee gave him a yellow card, which he deserved. Unfortunately for us, the consequences might be a lot more than a yellow card because a fracture is a distinct possibility.
The 26-year-old was expected to partner John Terry at the heart of England’s defence for the tournament. But Hodgson will now have to revise his plans ahead of the Group D clash with France on June 11th.
Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott is now tipped to partner Terry after replacing Cahill in yesterday’s 1-0 win. Phil Jagielka and Phil Jones remain Hodgson’s other choices to fill the void left by the ex-Bolton man, but it looks like Lescott may be the preferred choice after a fantastic season at Manchester City.