Arsenal FC defender Sol Campbell is likely to miss England's first two FIFA World Cup qualifiers with an achilles injury.
'A big blow'
Campbell has returned early from Arsenal's pre-season trip to Amsterdam, and manager Arsène Wenger confirmed that the centre-back would be out until mid-September, unlike striker Thierry Henry who has the same problem. "It will be at least six weeks," Wenger said of Campbell. "This is a big blow for us, although there is more reassuring news about Thierry Henry, who could be ready for the first Premiership match."
The 29-year-old, who was named in the UEFA EURO 2004™ All-Star Squad, should therefore be unavailable for England's 18 August friendly against Ukraine, plus the World Cup qualifying Group 6 matches in Austria on 4 September and Poland four days later. However, Campbell has a further week to recover for Arsenal's opening UEFA Champions League group stage fixture.
England are already without Campbell's long-term defensive partner Rio Ferdinand, whose suspension for missing a drug test does not end until 20 September.
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