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May 15, 2012

Walker ruled out of Euros

Kyle Walker, the newly crowned PFA Young Footballer of the Year, has been ruled out of the European Championships with a toe injury, and it is expected that Rio Ferdinand will also be absent from the squad.

Less than 24 hours before Roy Hodgson names his England squad on Wednesday, widespread reports claim Peter Crouch and Micah Richards are two further big names to be overlooked, but there will be a place for Liverpool's Andy Carroll.

Walker had been strongly expected to be selected by Hodgson, who will explain his squad selections at around 1pm on Wednesday. However, it emerged late on Tuesday evening that he definitely will not travel to Ukraine and Poland. The Tottenham man pulled up injured in Spurs' final game of the season on Sunday, a 2-0 win over Fulham. He left White Hart Lane wearing a protective boot and walking with the aid of crutches.

The loss of Walker will not, however, open the door for Manchester City's powerful right-back Micah Richards, who will reportedly be ignored by Hodgson just as he was by predecessor Fabio Capello.

Doubts had already existed over the inclusion of Manchester United defender Ferdinand, who has played once for England since November 2010. His last cap came against Switzerland in June 2011, and it is believed his fitness limitations - Sir Alex Ferguson recently said the defender cannot manage two games in four days - will lead to his omission by Hodgson.

Meanwhile, the England boss is still waiting on the fitness of Walker's Tottenham team-mate Scott Parker, who has had an injection on his troublesome Achilles.

Harry Redknapp hinted Parker may miss out, but such is the potential captain's growing influence within the England set-up that Hodgson is sure to give him more time to recover. Redknapp estimated that it would take the best part of this week to see if the injection has done the trick.

Parker was captain for England's last game against Netherlands, and has become an integral part of the midfield pattern in his holding role.

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