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Micah Richards withdraws from U-21s

Manchester City defender Micah Richards has withdrawn from England's Under-21 squad for the UEFA U-21 Championship finals because of a hamstring injury.

Richards, 22, has 14 Under-21 caps, including the 2009 European Championship final defeat to Germany, but will not add to his tally over the summer after suffering a hamstring injury that will see him sidelined for some time.

Coach Stuart Pearce confirmed the news ahead of the competition in Denmark next month and will shortly confirm a replacement for the defender to complete the squad of 23 before the June 1 deadline.

Pearce has already seen his plans for the summer competition disrupted by the row over his planned inclusion of Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, who he ultimately left out of his squad.

England will face Czech Republic, Spain and Ukraine in their three Group B fixtures, kicking off on June 12 against the Spanish.


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