England

England rules Cole out due to injury

England's Ashley Cole during training
Ashley Cole complained of his rib problem during Chelsea's Premier League win at Norwich.
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England will be without left back Ashley Cole for its penultimate World Cup qualifier against Montenegro on Friday due to a rib injury.

Cole complained of the problem during Chelsea's Barclays Premier League victory at Norwich on Sunday and went for a scan on Monday morning which has confirmed the full-back will not be able to play in the first match of England's double header at Wembley on Friday.

Whilst the left-back could be available for the following Tuesday's game against Poland, it does seem unlikely the veteran will be involved. Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs has been added to Roy Hodgson's squad, whilst Everton's Leighton Baines is set to start.

Whilst the injury itself is not a complete disaster with Baines in outstanding form, which brought interest from Manchester United this summer, it does add a complication Hodgson could have done without ahead of such a massive week.

England might qualify with four points, but to be certain of reaching next summer's Finals in Brazil they need to beat Montenegro and Poland. They must do so without a recognized wide man due to injuries to Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, plus Ashley Young's loss of form.

The Associated Press was used in this report.

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