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Ashley Cole's England start cut short by old rib injury

Clive Rose

After sitting out England's friendly against Chile on Saturday, Ashley Cole was handed a start by Roy Hodgson on Tuesday against Germany.  It was the veteran left back's 106th appearance for his country.

It won't be one he'll cherish too much however.  Not only did England proceed to lose (again) and get shut out (again) at home (again), Cole was forced off in the 52nd minute - the ex-Arsenal left back replaced by current Arsenal left back Kieran Gibbs.  And that's just the start of it:

So that's the same rib injury that Cole picked up over a month ago in the match against Norwich City, which then forced him out of the England squad for the October international break and saw him miss Chelsea's next two matches (in the process introducing us to Cesar Azpilicueta, left back).  In fact, he's only featured in two of seven matches since, starting both the 2-1 home win over Manchester City and the 2-0 away defeat to Newcastle United.

There's a good chance he'll miss yet another one this weekend then, if he was "feeling" the rib injury enough on Tuesday to force the substitution.  So, Ryan Bertrand?  Cesar Azpilicueta again?  It's a good thing we've got options.

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