LONDON: England striker Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out of his side’s opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland next week.
Sturridge sustained a thigh injury during a training session with Roy Hodgson’s squad at their St George’s Park base on Friday.
The Liverpool star was sent for a scan and it was decided he would not be able to recover in time to feature against the Swiss in Basel on Monday.
“Daniel Sturridge picked up an injury on his thigh in training,” an FA spokesman said.
“He has had a scan and will now return to Liverpool FC for treatment. He will play no part in the forthcoming Switzerland match.”
Sturridge’s absence is a major blow to Hodgson as he was one of England’s better performers in the lacklustre 1-0 friendly win over Norway at Wembley on Wednesday.
Hodgson has not called up a replacement for Sturridge as he considers who will partner captain Wayne Rooney in attack in the most difficult of his side’s group stage fixtures.
Arsenal’s new signing Danny Welbeck is the most likely candidate, with Liverpool targetman Rickie Lambert another option for Hodgson if he wishes to play with two strikers.
There was another worrying sign for Hodgson as Chelsea defender Gary Cahill sat out training on Friday with an ankle complaint, although he is expected to return in time to feature in the Group E opener.
The England manager already has to take an inexperienced squad to St Jakob-Park, with the international retirements of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole compounded by a lengthy injury list which includes Theo Walcott, Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley, Michael Carrick, Andy Carroll, Kyle Walker, Glen Johnson, Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling.