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Page last updated at 21:21 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Injured duo miss England training

Shaun Wright-Phillips and Peter Crouch
Wright-Phillips and Crouch are doubts for Saturday's game

Peter Crouch and Shaun Wright-Phillips missed England training for the second day running ahead of Saturday's friendly against Slovakia at Wembley.

Crouch (calf) and Wright-Phillips (ankle) will both be examined early on Thursday to decide whether they are fit to take part in the day's training.

On Tuesday, Tottenham defender Ledley King left the England camp.

King was called up despite a chronic knee injury that restricts his ability to train.

After a near two-year absence from international football King, 28, joined up with the England squad picked for the match against Slovakia and the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on 1 April.

Ability-wise Ledley King is certainly good enough to be in a World Cup squad

Steven Gerrard

The Spurs club captain arrived with Fabio Capello's party at Arsenal's London Colney training facility on Tuesday but did not train and returned to the England hotel and then to his club.

An FA statement said: "Both parties agreed the best interests of the player are served by continuing his individual training programme at the club."

King had impressed Capello with his solid performances in the Spurs defence.

But Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp expressed concern about the call-up, because if King played against Ukraine he could not be considered for club duty against Blackburn three days later.


The FA defended the decision to bring King into the squad: "The England management will take no risks," a spokesman said.

"They fully understand Ledley's injury situation but they want to have a close look at him."

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard paid a glowing tribute to the Tottenham defender.

"Ability-wise Ledley King is certainly good enough to be in a World Cup squad," said Gerrard.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed that when the World Cup squad is picked he is fit and available for selection.

Gerrard backs King for England success

Capello has already pledged to use his maximum six substitutes against Slovakia as he attempts to keep his players as fresh as possible for the match against Ukraine.

"The Ukraine game is very important to us," said the Italian. "Their league only started at the beginning of March so their players will be very fresh.

"Ours are a little bit tired but I think the fans will help us this time. We will have 12 players on the pitch."

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see also
Capello urges Rooney to calm down
26 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Redknapp defends stance over King
26 Mar 09 |  Tottenham
England call an honour - Baines
23 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Capello awards King shock call-up
22 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Beckham reaches England milestone
12 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Beckham hails impact of Capello
16 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals

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