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England defender Gary Cahill has been ruled out of Euro 2012 with a double fracture of the jaw, the Football Association (FA) announced on Sunday.
The 26-year-old, who won the FA Cup and Champions League with Chelsea this past season, suffered the injury when he was shoved in the back by Belgium's Dries Mertens during the first half of a 1-0 friendly win at Wembley on Saturday and, as a result, collided with England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
He was sent for X-rays and now has become the third player to drop out of England manager Roy Hodgson's squad this week after midfielders Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard's hopes of playing in Poland and Ukraine were dashed by injury.
Liverpool's Martin Kelly was called up on Sunday as a replacement, with Hodgson having already omitted veteran Manchester United centerback Rio Ferdinand from his original squad.
An FA statement on Sunday said: "Gary Cahill has been withdrawn from England's Euro 2012 squad following the injury he suffered in the match against Belgium.
"The Chelsea defender has two fractures of his jaw, one either side. The England medical team have been in close contact overnight with Cahill's club doctors, who will treat him moving forward.
"Liverpool defender Martin Kelly will be called into the squad - subject to agreement from UEFA's medical team.
"Kelly trained with the England players last week and was part of the group that traveled to Norway (where England won 1-0 in Oslo to give Hodgson a win in his first game as England boss)."
John Terry, Cahill's Chelsea and England central defensive colleague, was passed fit, for now at least, on Sunday after suffering a hamstring problem against Belgium.
"John Terry has been scanned this morning and given the all-clear," the FA said. "He will be re-assessed on Tuesday when the team regroup."
Hodgson immediately feared the worst regarding Cahill's injury, saying after the match: "The referee gave him (Mertens) a yellow card, which he deserved.
"Unfortunately for us, the consequences might be a lot more than a yellow card because a fracture is a distinct possibility."
Mertens took to Twitter on Sunday to express his regret, saying: "I sincerely apologize for the harm I've caused to Cahill. When in the heat of the moment, you often don't think about the consequences.
"My thoughts go out to him and I hope he recovers well!"
Saturday's match was England's last before it begins its Euro 2012 Group D campaign against France in Donetsk on June 11 - a game in which Cahill looked likely to start alongside clubmate Terry.
But now the Chelsea captain, if fit, could be partnered by either Everton's Phil Jagielka or Manchester City's Joleon Lescott.
Agence France-Presse in London
(China Daily 06/05/2012 page22)