Gerrard out of England game

Image: Gerrard: Ruled out

Steven Gerrard has been ruled out of England's clash with Belarus on Wednesday and has returned to Liverpool for treatment on his groin.

Liverpool skipper returns to club for treatment on groin

Steven Gerrard has been ruled out of England's clash with Belarus on Wednesday and has returned to Liverpool for treatment on his groin injury. The midfielder was replaced at half-time in the 1-0 defeat to Ukraine on Saturday but initially stayed with the squad for his fitness to be assessed. He took part in training on Tuesday but had to leave the session early and Capello has now confirmed he will not be involved against Belarus. "He didn't finish training because the pain was the same as yesterday. Unfortunately he is going back to Liverpool," Capello said on Sky Sports News. Goalkeeper David James sat out training with knee trouble and Capello will make a late decision on whether he can play at Wembley. "He has some problem with the knee but he is getting better and will stay with us and tomorrow we will decide," Capello explained. The Portsmouth goalkeeper produced an impressive performance in Ukraine after coming on in the 15th minute when Robert Green was sent off. There are concerns that he could struggle to play three games a week at the World Cup at the age of 39 but Capello is not thinking about such matters. "This is a problem for the future. We have six or seven months to decide which players will go the World Cup," he said.

Experiment

Having already sealed their qualification to the World Cup and with Gerrard and Wayne Rooney ruled out through injury, Capello plans to look at some different options against Belarus. But he remained tight-lipped on who might feature, confirming only that Rio Ferdinand would start despite a shaky display in Dnipro. "Rio will play tomorrow. I have big confidence in him, he needs to play and I am sure he will get better every game," said Capello. Asked whether James Milner would start, the Italian replied: "We will have to wait 24 hours. Milner has always played very well and is one for the future. "I think the matches in March and May are more important to arrive with good morale. This is one game to experiment. "Rooney is a very important player for us but tomorrow we will play with a different style and some different players. It will be very interesting for me."
Heskey
Capello refused to be drawn into the debate on Emile Heskey, who admitted earlier this week he may have to consider his Aston Villa future. Heskey is regarded as a key player by Capello but the England manager has always stressed that he wants his men to play regularly at club level, something Heskey has not done so far this season. "It is between Heskey and his club, it is not a question for me. This is all in the future and I will decide when I have to solve this problem," said Capello.

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