John Terry will miss England’s Euro 2004 opener against France on Sunday after failing a fitness test earlier today.
The defender, who damaged a hamstring in the friendly against Japan, was unable to take part in Friday’s full training session and coach Sven Goran Eriksson has decided not to risk him against France.
Eriksson must now turn to either Ledley King or Jamie Carragher as the central defensive partner for Sol Campbell.
Terry is expected to be fit for England’s second game at Euro 2004 against Switzerland on Thursday, 17 June.
“I’m sure he’ll be fit for Thursday,” said Eriksson.
“He trained a little, did some fitness work but it is too short time until Sunday. I think it’s dangerous to risk him.
“It is a difficult decision to pick from Carragher and King. Both are in good shape and did well in the games they played, so it’s difficult but somehow you have to make the decision.
“It’s a pity Terry’s injured – we all know what a good season he’s had but that’s life in football.”