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Barca dealing with Copa drama

Barcelona
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By ESPN Staff

Lampard out of Israel match, Gerrard recovering

WATFORD, England, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Frank Lampard has been ruled out of England's Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel on Saturday with a thigh injury although the midfielder has a 50-50 chance of being fit to face Russia next week.

Lampard, who scored his 13th goal for England in last month's 2-1 home defeat by Germany in a friendly, missed training on Tuesday and returned to his Premier League club for treatment on a torn thigh muscle.

'We looked at the scans and liaised with Chelsea,' England head coach Steve McClaren said at the squad's hotel in Hertfordshire, north of London.

'We've sent him back to the club, he's rehabbing there. The injury is not as serious as first thought and we're hopeful of assessing him on Saturday.

'There's a 50-50 chance he may be ready for next week. We're giving him every chance to be available for us.'

England face Russia at Wembley in a qualifier on Wednesday.

The news was better for fellow midfielder Steven Gerrard, who is expected to have recovered from a hairline fracture on a toe in time to play against the Israelis at Wembley.

'I'm very, very confident that Stevie G will be with us on Saturday for what is a very important game,' McClaren said.

'He wants to play, I want him to play, the team does, the fans do. The whole country does.

'We're assessing it day by day. Hopefully, by the end of the week we'll have a better idea but we'll leave it as late as possible.'

England captain John Terry and Owen Hargreaves also missed training but were expected to be back with the rest of the squad on Wednesday.

Terry was unwell while, like Gerrard, Hargreaves had gym sessions instead of working out with the other players at London Colney.

England are already without injured Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and Gary Neville as well as the suspended Peter Crouch for this weekend's Group E match.

England are fourth in the standings and trail leaders Croatia by three points.