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Oct 14, 2008

Upson: Terry style adds to injury woe

England centre-back Matthew Upson believes that John Terry's uncompromising style of defending is contributing to his growing list of injuries. The England captain has been ruled out of Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Belarus in Minsk with a back injury, which also prevented him from playing in the 5-1 win against Kazakhstan at Wembley, despite a week of intensive physiotherapy.

Terry also missed the key Euro 2008 qualifying defeats against Russia and Croatia and Upson, who deputised for the injured defender against the Kazakhs and looks set to retain his place in Minsk, can see why the Chelsea skipper's body is so battered.

'Injuries are a hazard of the position and there comes a time where, especially as a defender, you're going to have to put your body on the line,' Upson said.

'You have to make a decision in some games, and John does that every week.

'The older you get the more you start to get these problems. It is a case of getting some good advice and good treatment to make sure your body is strong enough to compete.'

Terry once said he wanted to play in every game he could and not even the prospect of spending the latter part of his life in a wheelchair would alter his opinion.

It may be an ill-advised viewpoint but Upson feels a certain amount of physical discomfort has to be tolerated as part of the job.

'The contact has an effect,' the West Ham United defender said.

'When you have a piece of surgery the balance of your body changes. After years of pounding away you can have a chronic problem.

'But its part of the position and you have to expect it.'

Left-back Ashley Cole will join Terry on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and the absence of the defensive duo has shorn England of a combined total of 115 caps.

Wayne Bridge should replace Cole to start his first competitive international since last November's home defeat to Croatia, which cost England a place at Euro 2008 and Steve McClaren his job.

Third-choice goalkeeper Robert Green was last night ruled out of the trip with a sore knee, leaving Capello with just David James and Scott Carson to choose from.

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