England coach Fabio Capello suffered a double injury blow on Thursday as Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe and Arsenal winger Theo Walcott were ruled out for up to six weeks.
Defoe will be sidelined with an ankle injury sustained in the second half of England’s 3-1 victory over Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Basel on Tuesday.
Walcott was forced off in the first half of the Switzerland match after colliding with a defender in the build-up to Wayne Rooney’s early goal.
Capello had named the pair in his starting line-up for both of England’s wins against Bulgaria and Switzerland, with Defoe scoring a hat-trick against the Bulgarians.
But the England boss is now likely to be without two of his key attackers for his team’s next qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on October 12.
Defoe was seen using crutches and wearing a protective boot on his right foot after returning from Switzerland and Spurs boss Harry Redknapp confirmed the problem is serious enough to sideline his leading forward until well into October.
“Even if it’s a bad sprain, you’re still talking about six weeks or so, because it’s a nasty one,” Redknapp said.
Walcott had scans after returning to Arsenal this week and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger admitted Walcott is likely to be out for between four to six weeks.
“The tackle looked quite bad. When you see how it turned his ankle I thought it would be three or four days or it would be four to six weeks. Unfortunately it will be four to six weeks,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website.
Capello is also without Tottenham defender Michael Dawson, who suffered a knee injury on England duty against Bulgaria which ruled him out for eight weeks.
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