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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Steven Gerrard ruled out of Germany game

Steven Gerrard has been ruled out of England's friendly with Germany on Wednesday because of a torn leg muscle.

The Liverpool midfielder picked up the injury in Saturday's 2-0 win at Bolton and will be out for seven to 10 days.

Manchester United pair Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand are are also missing with calf and back injuries, respectively.

Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne was a surprise inclusion in Fabio Capello's squad, which also excluded LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham.

Liverpool spokesman Ian Cotton confirmed the extent of Gerrard's injury: "Steven picked up an injury in yesterday's game at Bolton.

"A scan this morning has confirmed a tear in the adductor magnus muscle in his right leg, and he is expected to be out between seven to 10 days."

Beckham, who has not played since the Major League Soccer season finished on 26 October, misses the chance to equal Bobby Moore's tally of 108 caps with Capello making it clear he will only pick players who are playing regularly.

Beckham will be inactive until he joins Italian side AC Milan on loan in January.

Mancienne, who joined Wolves on a three-month loan deal in October, said the call-up had been unexpected.

"It's a great honour," he told Wolves's website: "I was expecting to join up with the under-21s and my head was focused on that but this is obviously great news.

"It's a great game to be picked for and just to be in and around the squad will be superb."

Mancienne, who is yet to play for the Chelsea first team, joins uncapped Aston Villa duo Curtis Davies, 23 and Gabriel Agbonlahor, 22, in a youthful England setup.

Martin O'Neill's team have four representatives in all, with Ashley Young and Gareth Barry completing the Villa quartet.

Ferdinand, who is suffering with a bad back, and Rooney, who has a chest infection and calf strain, both missed Manchester United's 5-0 drubbing of Stoke and leave Capello with shortages in defence and attack.

Ferdinand's England centre-back partner John Terry is included despite picking up an injury during the Blues' 3-0 win at West Brom on Saturday.

Should the captain's injury worsen in the coming days, Capello will go to Berlin without his entire first-choice defence and strikeforce.

Chelsea team-mates Ashley and Joe Cole are missing with hamstring injuries, and Manchester United defender Wes Brown is also missing with an injury.

Terry will have a scan on Sunday and Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari said: "The doctor told me that John needs to go to the hospital tomorrow (Sunday) for a scan.

"If he has a condition then he should not play but if he does not have a condition he must play."

Despite the injuries to Emile Heskey and Rooney, Capello has opted not to recall striker Michael Owen, who scored for Newcastle in their draw with Wigan on Saturday.

However, Spurs striker Bent, revitalised under new boss Harry Redknapp, earns a recall, while Manchester City's Joe Hart and Micah Richards also return.

The Manchester City pair, team-mate Shaun Wright-Phillips, plus Joleon Lescott and Stewart Downing must all come through Premier League fixtures for their clubs on Sunday first.

Capello said he will take a careful look at the youngsters in his new-look England squad in the international friendly at the Olympic Stadium, home of Hertha Berlin.

"Our opponents Germany are always a very strong team, and when they play at home even more so," he said.

"Everyone has told me that it is not a friendly game against Germany, but I think this will be a friendly game. We will do some experiments and after this game I will know better some different players."

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