Euro 2012: England's Gary Cahill Ruled out of Tournament with Broken Jaw

Simon Edmonds@@Eddie_EdmondsCorrespondent IJune 3, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 02:  Gary Cahill (C) of England collides with goalkeeper Joe Hart of England after he was pushed by Dries Mertens (R) of Belgium during the international friendly match between England and Belgium at Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

This was the news all England fans were dreading to hear following yesterday's friendly with Belgium.

Several papers, including The Telegraph, are reporting that Cahill will be absent from Euro 2012.

After a harsh tackle—well, more of a shove in the back, really—from Belgian winger Dries Martens, which sent Cahill flying into England keeper Joe Hart, the Chelsea defender will miss the tournament.

Cahill managed to fracture his jaw in two places in the incident and joins the list of players who will be unable to compete in Poland and Ukraine.

It's worrying news for an England squad that was already grasping at the barrel of its talent to field a decent starting XI.

The pairing of Cahill and Terry in defence was a critical one, with both men having learnt each other's style of play over the past half-year at Chelsea.

It also means that a far less experienced international defender will be forced to come in and take Cahill's place in the squad.

That man is Martin Kelly, of Liverpool.

Kelly is aged 22 and has just one cap for England as of right now.

As for the position of centre-back itself, this will more than likely be a void filled by Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott.

There is always a danger when you play international friendlies so close to a major tournament that something like this can happen.

It's unavoidable at times, and incredibly unlucky for all involved.

There will be plenty more tournaments for Cahill in the future, but as for the current moment in time, Lescott, or even perhaps Everton's Phil Jagielka, will have to quickly get in the zone for England's Group D clash with France next Monday.

Both men are able defenders and will not doubt give it their all.

This is an annoyance, but not a disaster for England, who, to be quite frank, are not expected to do well whatever side they put out against the French.

Still, there is always hope, and with two back-to-back victories kick-starting Roy Hodgson's run as England coach, who knows what could happen?