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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Smicer ruled out of Czech squad
Czech Republic midfielder Vladimir Smicer
Smicer is determined to play some part for the Czech Republic
Czech Republic midfielder Vladimir Smicer has been ruled out of the World Cup because of a leg injury.

Doctors found a blood clot in his thigh muscle after he felt discomfort at the Czech's pre-cup camp last week.

The 33-year-old Girondins Bordeaux player was confident that he would travel to Germany and risk his injury to take part for his country.

Coach Karel Bruckner has called up Rangers midfielder Libor Sionko to replace the former Liverpool star.

Smicer said: "We came to a conclusion that, unfortunately, my condition makes it impossible for me to travel to the World Cup and help the team. It's impossible to cure the leg (in time.

"The doctors and I were not able to guarantee that I would be fit during the World Cup. I had no other choice.

"Now, I have to fully recover first, rest, and get ready for the next season."

Smicer did not play in a 1-0 win against Costa Rica on Tuesday and has been struggling for fitness since injuring a tendon behind his right knee in February.

Sionko has been training with the team as Bruckner included extra players in case replacements were needed.

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