Groin problem for Rosicky

The midfielder had been included in the provisional starting XI for

the Czech Republic’s crucial Euro 2012 qualifier against Lithuania

but had to pull out 20 minutes prior to kick-off due to a groin

injury. He was not even fit enough to be named among the

substitutes and had to watch on nervously as the Czech Republic ran

out 4-1 winners. “I have had problems with my groin and until the

last possible moment I was trying to see if there was any chance I

might be able to play,” Rosicky told isport.blesk.cz. “There was

the first option of me being on the pitch and the second one was

that I would be on the bench and come on only if we are in trouble.

“In the end the pre-match warm-up told me it was not possible for

me to play. There was some hope but it was getting worse and worse

and in such case I would be of no use on the pitch.” The extent of

the injury will now be assessed when he returns to London ahead of

Arsenal’s match at home to Sunderland on Sunday. Rosicky is

nevertheless in high spirits after victory for the Czechs, coupled

with Scotland’s defeat to Spain, clinched a spot in the play-offs

for Euro 2012. The Czech Republic have been seeded for November’s

two-legged tie and will face either Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina,

Montenegro or Estonia, but Rosicky knows there is still a lot of

hard work to do. “I am very happy that the lads did the job well,

but it’s too early to be proud of anything,” he said. “We have just

done our duty but it’s a good feeling to have finished second

because often we had to work in an almost venomous atmosphere (from

the Czech press and fans). “We know this is just the first step and

the more difficult one awaits us in the play-offs.”