Romania defender Cosmin Contra has been ruled out of his country's last remaining UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying matches with a long-term ankle injury.
The 27-year-old right-back, who was carried off during Club Atlético de Madrid's pre-season friendly with AS Roma two weeks ago, will miss the home tie with Luxembourg on 6 September as well as the potentially crucial trip to current Group 2 leaders Denmark four days later.
Reacting to the news that Contra could be out longer than first anticipated, Romania coach Anghel Iordanescu said: "It's a huge loss for us - I had hoped that his problem would disappear."
Contra, an ever-present throughout this qualifying campaign, is resigned to facing the surgeon's knife to correct the injury. "The ankle is not stable," he said. "The tendon is always moving from the ankle and that's why I might have to undergo surgery. This would mean at least two months out - just treatment and recovery. It's terrible for me."
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