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England and Spurs' Michael Dawson set for long lay-off

Michael Dawson
Dawson had to leave the field in agony after going over on his knee

England defender Michael Dawson has been ruled out of Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier in Switzerland after suffering an injury against Bulgaria.

Tottenham say the 26-year-old will be out for six to eight weeks after spraining his left medial knee ligament and a left ankle ligament in the match.

It rules him out of at least three Champions League group matches and several Premier League games.

England have decided not to call up a replacement for the game in Basle.

That could mean a recall for West Ham defender Matthew Upson alongside Phil Jagielka, though Bolton stopper Gary Cahill acquitted himself well on his international debut after coming off the bench to replace Dawson for the final half an hour against Bulgaria.

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Cahill was the first Bolton player to represent England since Michael Ricketts in February 2002 while Jagielka was winning only his fifth cap so Capello could choose to use Upson's experience alongside the Everton man in Basle.

The West Ham captain was left out of both the Bulgaria game and last month's friendly victory over Hungary although he played against both Slovenia and Germany in the World Cup finals in the summer.

First-choice pairing John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are out of the reckoning with hamstring and knee problems respectively.

Dawson's injury is worrying news for Spurs with the transfer window closed, although manager Harry Redknapp said he was relieved to discover the injury was not as severe as first thought.

You don't do what William Gallas has done in the game without being a top, top player and he's got all the medals to show for it

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp

"First of all, it's a big blow for Michael and a great shame for him," said Redknapp. "But watching it live, I thought it could have been worse than it's turned out.

"It could have been his cruciate ligament and that would have been the end of the season for him but as it is, it's not such a long job and he should be back in a couple of months."

Redknapp believes Dawson's injury has underlined the value of signing veteran defender William Gallas from Arsenal on a free transfer last month.

"Jonathan Woodgate is struggling, Ledley King can't play every game and you also have to remember that Michael had an Achilles injury last season," he said.

"So it was always a position we needed to do something in and that's why we did it [signed Gallas].

"Sebastien Bassong was excellent last season and we've got decent cover in there, players who can come in and do a job, but you also need experience.

"Ledley's got experience, Michael's got experience and now William's experience will be invaluable.

"He'll give us a bit of know-how and a real presence. You don't do what he's done in the game without being a top, top player and he's got all the medals to show for it."

Spurs kick off their Champions League group away to Werder Bremen on 14 September before entertaining Twente on 29 September and then travelling to Inter Milan on 20 October.

If Dawson is out for eight weeks he could also miss the home game with Inter on 2 November, which comes three days after the Premier League trip to Manchester United.

Among the other league matches he will be unavailable for are London derbies at West Ham and Fulham and a home game with Everton.



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see also
Capello hails hat-trick man Defoe
03 Sep 10 |  Football
England 4-0 Bulgaria
03 Sep 10 |  Football
International football photos
03 Sep 10 |  Football


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