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Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Sunday, 8 June 2008 12:04 UK
Switzerland 0-1 Czech Republic

Alexander Frei
Frei left the pitch in tears after suffering the injury

Switzerland's influential captain Alexander Frei has been ruled out of the rest of Euro 2008 with the knee injury he suffered in the opening game.

Frei, 28, limped off in tears during the 1-0 defeat against the Czech Republic on Saturday.

Swiss team doctor Cuno Wetzel told a news conference on Sunday that Frei would be out for six weeks with a partially ruptured, left knee ligament.

"He was an important player. He was a goal-getter." said coach Koebi Kuhn.

"But he's out. We have to move forward."

Wetzel added: "Alex Frei knew immediately that he had been hurt badly."

The doctor said Frei would speak publicly on Monday, but now wanted "to have some time to himself".

The Borussia Dortmund forward missed much of the Bundesliga season because of injuries.

He has had a hip operation, two muscle tears and a calf injury in the last 13 months, but had battled back to full fitness in recent weeks.

Petr Cech admits his side had some luck against the Swiss

Frei suffered the injury in a challenge with Czech defender Zdenek Grygera shortly before half-time in the opening game of the tournament.

After the game he was sent to hospital for a scan and Kuhn said: "It is a shock, a disaster to lose our captain in the first game - I can only hope it is not too serious."

Frei became Switzerland's all-time top goalscorer last week when he scored his 35th goal in 59 internationals, and was seen as vital to the team's chances of getting out of a tough group that includes Portugal and Turkey.

"He's our best striker, we need him back in the team," defender Johan Djourou said after the match.

"We will take a lot of confidence from the way we played against the Czechs, especially in the first half, but if we lose Alex it will be very difficult to get back into the tournament."

Meanwhile, Kuhn said his team should be proud of their display, despite the defeat.

The home side were undone by a second-half strike from Vaclav Sverkos.

"I told them they can leave the stadium with their heads held high," stated Kuhn, who will step down as coach at the end of the tournament.

"Now we have to forget about this game and concentrate on the next match, against Turkey."

Kuhn added: "Our chances of going through have certainly not increased but we still believe.

"Everything is still possible and we are not going to give up. We must build on what we did here today.

"We had the chances to at least have drawn the match, and we could easily have won it but that is football, it is not about justice. This game is over for us now but not the Euros."

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Vaclav Sverkos scored the only goal in Switzerland's opening-game defeat

Group A
16 June 2008 09:44
    P GD PTS
1 Portugal 3 2 6
2 Turkey 3 0 6
3 Czech Republic 3 -2 3
4 Switzerland 3 0 3

see also
Switzerland 0-1 Czech Republic
07 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Portugal 2-0 Turkey
07 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Euro 2008 day one as it happened
07 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Czechs were below par - Bruckner
07 Jun 08 |  Czech Rep
Wife of Swiss coach suffers fit
02 Jun 08 |  Switzerland
Switzerland team guide
15 May 08 |  Switzerland
Pick your Switzerland XI
23 May 08 |  Switzerland
Czech Republic team guide
15 May 08 |  Czech Rep

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