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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK

Gerrard ruled out of World Cup

Steven Gerrard has been ruled out of England's World Cup campaign.

The 21-year-old midfielder needs an operation on his groin after limping out of Liverpool's match against Ipswich on Saturday.

" I want to let the England lads know I'll be cheering them on from home "
Steven Gerrard

Club team-mate Danny Murphy is promoted to the full squad as his replacement.

Gerrard, a key part of Sven-Goran Eriksson's plans, had hoped to shrug off the injury in time to join the England squad on a pre-tournament get-together in Dubai.

But a scan on Monday revealed surgery was required, with Gerrard requiring more than a month to recover.

He told the official Liverpool website: "The rehabilitation period for this sort of operation is six weeks, so obviously I'm going to miss the World Cup which is a massive disappointment.

"However, I need to get myself right as I wouldn't have been able to do myself or the team justice in Japan."

Gerrard's injury list

  • May 2002: Groin - misses World Cup
  • Mar 2002: Groin - misses Italy game
  • Feb 2002: Groin - three weeks out
  • Nov 2001: Groin - misses Sweden game
  • Aug 2001: Ankle - misses Holland game
  • Nov 2000: Back - quits ninth squad in nine months
  • Gerrard admitted he was concerned that trying to get fit for the World Cup would have had serious repurcussions in the future.

    "In the short term it's a big blow, but I'm only 21 and confident this surgery means I'll be involved in other major tournaments for the national side in the future.

    "I want to send all the England lads my best wishes for the tournament and let them know I'll be cheering them on from home.

    "My priority now has to be to get myself fit for the start of next season with Liverpool."

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