Injury forces Cole out of England squad

Shaun Botterill

The FA have confirmed that Ashley Cole will not be in the squad for England's key World Cup qualifying matches against Montenegro and Poland. The left back picked up a rib injury during Chelsea's 3-1 win against Norwich, and although Jose Mourinho suggested that he might have been fit for national team duty, the scans have apparently shown otherwise.

Here's the FA statement:

[A]fter naming a 23-man group for their games against Montenegro and Poland last Thursday, only Chelsea defender Ashley Cole didn't report and has withdrawn from the squad due to injury.

Cole will be unavailable for the meeting with Montenegro at Wembley on Friday, remaining with his club for further treatment.

Kieran Gibbs will replace Cole, who hopefully won't miss any further time to the problem. Chelsea have some crucial games after the international break, with Schalke 04 away and Manchester City at home as the second and third games back respectively, and I don't think we'll want to be relying on Ryan Bertrand for those matches. That said, if the problem is enough to get him out of England duty but not serious enough to jeopardise his club playing time, this might even be a good thing.

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