September 1, 2007 12:38:59 am
David Beckham will miss England’s upcoming European Championship qualifiers because of his knee injury, while Ashley Young and David Bentley were called up for the first time on Friday.
England coach Steve McClaren also included injured Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in his 26-man squad for the matches against Israel on September 8 and Russia four days later, both at Wembley.
Beckham could miss the rest of the Los Angeles Galaxy season after being diagnosed with a sprained right knee. The English midfielder underwent an MRI exam that confirmed he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee, the team said in a statement yesterday.
Beckham, 32, was injured in a tackle with Pachuca midfielder Fernando Salazar in the first half of Wednesday night’s North American Super Liga title match. He was expected to be out about six weeks, and will immediately begin rehabilitation, the team said.
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“It is a big blow for us,” McClaren said. “He is a big player and we are coming up to big games and we need big players for big games. He is injured and how well he recovers and how fast he recovers and how he plays from there on we will see.”
If England fail to qualify for Euro 2008, Beckham’s international career could be over.
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