Cole facing injury fight

06 November 2012 09:18

Ashley Cole is in danger of being made to wait again for his 100th England cap after being ruled out of Chelsea's Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Cole, who picked up a hamstring injury in the Blues' Barclays Premier League draw at Swansea on Saturday, will miss his club's crunch Group E game at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, hours before England boss Roy Hodgson names his squad for next Wednesday's friendly in Sweden.

That match had been set to see Steven Gerrard and Cole join England's elite band of centurions, a honour that has already proven elusive this season for the latter.

Injury prevented Cole reaching the landmark in the opening World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, while his Twitter attack on the Football Association's verdict in the John Terry racism scandal arguably played a part in him being rested for last month's match with San Marino.

Both he and Gerrard earned their 99th caps in Poland the following week, but it could now be February's friendly with Brazil before Cole reaches three figures.

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo said: "He has a problem with his hamstring. He shouldn't be too long out, but he won't be able to play tomorrow. It's difficult to give exact days. I'm not expecting him to be out for long."

Hodgson could pick Cole when he announces his squad on Thursday in the hope the left-back recovers in time for Chelsea's game with Liverpool on Sunday.

But he can forget about selecting Frank Lampard, who still faces at least a week out with a calf problem.

Di Matteo added: "I think Frank is still seven to 10 days (away) and then see how he progresses over the next week or so. Again, he's not far away from it."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 0 1 0 0 1
Panama 0 1 0 0 1
Tunisa 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0
Last updated : 16:48