Shevchenko an injury doubt to face England

Ukraine captain Andriy Shevchenko has injured his left knee and

is a doubt for his team’s must-win match against England on Tuesday

in Group D of the European Championship.

Team spokesman Oleksandr Glyvynskiy said the striker’s knee was

swollen after picking up knocks in the previous group games against

Sweden and France.

”We hope he can play but for the moment he is doubtful for the

match,” Glyvynskiy said.

Team doctor Leonid Mironov told a local TV station that the

medical staff was working with Shevchenko in order to get him fit

in time for Tuesday.

According to Mironov, such an injury would normally require two

or three days of rest.

Shevchenko, who scored both his team’s goals in an opening 2-1

win over Sweden, missed training on Sunday because of the

injury.

Ukraine needs to beat England to stand a chance of advancing to

the quarterfinals and missing Shevchenko would be a massive

blow.

”He is a bit injured,” said defensive midfielder Anatoliy

Tymoshchuk, Ukraine’s most-capped player with 118 appearances,

eight more than Shevchenko.

”I don’t think it is that bad,” Tymoshchuk said. ”He is a

very important player for us so let’s hope he can play. He’s our

top scorer so it would be a shame if he can’t play.”

A 2-0 defeat to France on Friday could have been Shevchenko’s

last match for Ukraine. Long before the tournament, the 35-year

striker announced his international retirement after Euro 2012.

”Everybody on the team hopes he can play,” forward Andriy

Voronin said. ”He is very important in every game for

Ukraine.”

The remaining 22 players in the squad completed a light training

session at the stadium of Metallurg Donetsk, attended by an

estimated 1,000 fans who loudly cheered every goal.

Voronin, who scored eight goals in 74 matches for Ukraine, is

clearly hoping for a repeat of his side’s opening match of the

tournament.

”During the game against Sweden, there was a fantastic

atmosphere in the stadium,” he said. ”We won and the whole

country was very, very happy. We want to do the same in two

days.”

The fate of the tournament’s other co-host was another

inspiration ahead of the Group D finale.

”We don’t want the same as Poland,” he said. ”We want to go

further.”