Welbeck joins England trio on sidelines for Italy friendly

Danny Welbeck celebrates with Wayne Rooney after scoring England's second goal against Lithuania. 

Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck has pulled out of the England squad because of a knee injury he suffered in Friday’s 4-0 win over Lithuania.

Welbeck sustained the injury in the second half of the victory at Wembley and was replaced in the 77th minute.

The Football Association (FA) confirmed on Saturday that Welbeck had been sent back to Arsenal.

The striker will therefore not take part in Tuesday’s friendly against Italy in Turin.

The FA also confirmed Raheem Sterling, James Milner and Leighton Baines had been sent back to their clubs.

Liverpool forward Sterling is carrying a toe injury and Manchester City midfielder Milner did not play against Lithuania as he had a knee problem.

Baines has gone back to Everton as Roy Hodgson wants to give Kieran Gibbs his seventh cap in Turin.

The England manager has called up Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand as cover for the Arsenal defender.

Hodgson told FA TV: "We knew we were going to be losing Raheem Sterling who had an injection last night on an on-going injury and hopefully that will help him as we go forward.

"We have a problem with James Milner who had to leave, we decided to let Leighton Baines go home and of course we lost Danny Welbeck who unfortunately picked up a slight knee injury (against Lithuania).

"So those four players won’t be with us going forward but it means a chance for the other guys in the squad to show what they can do.

"We are going to bring Ryan Bertrand in because with Leighton Baines gone we are now left with only one recognised left-back which is Kieran Gibbs and we wanted two recognised left-backs for both games."

Nine players have withdrawn from the squad since it was announced.

Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Fraser Forster and Danny Rose all pulled out through injury last week.

That means Hodgson has just 17 outfield players to choose from for the game against the country that beat England in their World Cup opener in Manaus last June.