Parker doubtful for Euros

Scott Parker, England’s key midfielder and most recent captain could miss Euro 2012. A persistent achilles injury may prevent the Tottenham player from joining Roy Hodgson’s squad.

Parker’s club manager Harry Redknapp isn’t clear about the seriousness of the injury. "At the moment he is struggling with fitness," Redknapp said. "He has not been fit for the last couple of weeks. He will have some injections in it and see if that can clear it up. He's been carrying it for a few weeks. The specialist thinks it will clear up but it will need around 10 days rest afterwards. We are hoping it will be OK."

Hodgson will be hoping so too. England will already be without Jack Wilshere for the finals, and Parker has become an integral part of the team in the last year. Manchester City’s Gareth Barry can fill the holding position in midfield, but lacks the speed and energy of Parker.

Another versatile England defender, Chris Smalling, will definitely miss the finals. The Manchester United player has a groin injury. "Smalling is going to miss the Euro Championships," United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed. "We are assessing it at the moment in terms of what we do with it. But certainly he's got a bad injury."

England already face playing their first two games at the finals without key striker Wayne Rooney, who is suspended. Hodgson hasn’t even faced his first match in charge yet and is already seeing his options become more limited every day.

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