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Injury forces Henry out of France friendlies

Barcelona striker Thierry Henry has been ruled out of France’s forthcoming friendly matches against Nigeria and Turkey due to a knee injury, France coach Raymond Domenech revealed on Sunday.

France have not yet decided to call up any replacements for the home games against Nigeria on June 2 and Turkey three days later.

Henry, 31, played in Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday, having overcome a knee ligament injury sustained in the Spanish champions’ 6-2 thrashing of Real Madrid on May 2.

“I expected it a little bit,” Domenech said on the French Football Federation website on Sunday.

“It makes sense, Thierry didn’t play for three weeks. He had to force himself to play in the Champions League final. I understand that, I would have done the same, anyone would have done the same, he didn’t play at 100 percent.

“The most important thing is that he recovers. It would achieve nothing for him (to play against Nigeria and Turkey).

“I anticipated it. If we have 25 players in the squad, it’s to manage the situation. It was completely expected.”

Speaking after Wednesday’s game in Rome, Henry conceded that he had been forced to play through the pain barrier.

“Personally, I didn’t think I’d play, but on Tuesday evening I started to believe that it would be OK,” the former Arsenal, Juventus and Monaco forward said.

“With (Andres) Iniesta (who had also been an injury doubt), we gritted our teeth.”

Sun 31 May, 2009
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