Terry does his knee in on astroturf

The England captain is out. Probably.

John Terry aggravated a knee injury while training on the “ice-covered artificial turf” at Luzhniki Stadium, where England are to play their crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia tonight.

Terry, pronounced fit to lead only hours earlier, was now “almost certainly ruled out”, announced Steve McClaren.

So it’s time for more tinkering. In comes Sol Campbell (probably) to deputise alongside Rio Ferdinand. It’ll be an unusual-looking back four, with Joleon Lescott likely to start at left-back in place of another casualty, Ashley Cole.

Hmm. This plastic pitch is casting a synthetic hoodoo over the whole fixture. All this talk of dodgy surfaces and increased insurance policies is playing right into the Russian hands. But really: breaking your leg in freezing conditions thousands of miles away from home? What’s to be afraid of?

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