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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 May, 2004, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Woodgate out of Euro 2004
England defender Jonathan Woodgate
Newcastle defender Jonathan Woodgate has been ruled out of England's Euro 2004 squad because of a thigh problem.

The 24-year-old tore a muscle in last week's win over Chelsea and Magpies boss Sir Bobby Robson said: "It will need at least two months to repair.

"That is without him being involved in serious training so we do not know how long it will take for him to get fit."

With Gareth Southgate also a doubt because of a knee injury, England could turn to Manchester United's Wes Brown.

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson had hinted earlier this week that a question mark over Brown's fitness could mean he would miss out on a place in the squad.

We will have to inform Sven because the European Championship is a non-starter
Sir Bobby Robson

And Brown's inclusion could also put Eriksson on a collision course with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson feels that Brown, who has fought back after two cruciate ligament operations, should be rested completely over the summer.

However, Brown has hinted that he would relish being involved in Portugal and, with Eriksson's defensive concerns mounting up, England may have to turn to the Old Trafford star.

However, Middlesbrough star Southgate has yet to prove his fitness following a knee injury.

He is unlikely to play for Boro again this season but he is optimistic that he can stake a claim for Euro 2004.

Before his injury, Woodgate had been set to do battle with Chelsea's John Terry to partner Sol Campbell in the England line-up.

Newcastle manager Robson added that the club would confirm to Eriksson that Woodgate would not be fit to travel to Portugal this summer.

He stated: "We will have to inform Sven because the European Championship is a non-starter.

"Jonathan is sorry and we are sorry because we would have liked him to have gone but unfortunately he is not going to make it."







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