Switzerland will be without Philippe Senderos for their opening three UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers after the Fulham FC defender was ruled out for six months with a torn Achilles tendon.
Senderos had initially withdrawn from Switzerland's squad for Wednesday's friendly against fellow UEFA EURO 2008 hosts Austria with a minor toe injury. He returned to training with Fulham, who he joined from Arsenal FC this summer, only to pick up a more serious problem.
"This is incredibly bad luck for Philippe," said Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. "A hard blow for him, the club and the Swiss national team. Senderos had played an important part in my plans for the start of the EURO qualification. He is a leader on and off the pitch."
Hitzfeld also had to make do without Senderos for the majority of his FIFA World Cup campaign after the 25-year-old picked up an ankle injury 35 minutes into his country's opening game against Spain. Senderos will now go to Finland for surgery, just three days before his new club commence their Premier League campaign against Bolton Wanderers FC.
He will be absent from at least the first three of Switzerland's qualifiers, against England on 7 September, in Montenegro on 8 October and at home to Wales four days later. They then go to Bulgaria on 26 March next year.
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