England's Chris Smalling is out of UEFA EURO 2012 after sustaining a groin injury while playing for Manchester United FC in their penultimate match of the Premier League campaign last weekend.
The defender, who started and finished United's 2-0 victory against Swansea City AFC, was initially expected to be fit for Sunday's league trip to Sunderland AFC, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed on Friday that the problem is worse than first anticipated and sufficiently serious to sideline the 22-year-old for England's excursion to Poland and Ukraine.
"Chris Smalling got a bad injury last week," said Ferguson, who was forced to field the centre-back for the 90 minutes against Swansea after fellow England international Rio Ferdinand limped off. "We tried to take him off, then Rio got a knock. He's going to miss the European Championship. At the moment we're assessing what we'll do, but certainly it's a bad injury."
The unavailability of Smalling, capped three times, will come as a blow to England manager Roy Hodgson, who will announce his 23-man UEFA EURO 2012 squad on Wednesday at 14.00CET.
United, meanwhile, must make do without the services of a player who has made 19 top-flight appearances this term as they travel to the Stadium of Light needing to better Manchester City FC's result against Queens Park Rangers FC to retain the Premier League title.
England's UEFA Euro 2012 campaign begins against France on 11 June, before Group D matches against Sweden, four days later, and co-hosts Ukraine on 19 June.
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