The English FA have announced that midfielder Frank Lampard will not be making the trip to Euro 2012. The Chelsea midfielder was expected to start for England in Poland and Ukraine if healthy, but a thigh injury has forced him to withdraw from the squad. England manager Roy Hodgson has called up Liverpool's Jordan Henderson as a replacement.
Hodgson spoke through an official statement on the FA's website.
"It's a huge blow for the team, especially coming after the loss of another senior player in Gareth Barry. The fact that the doctor cannot guarantee Frank could take part in any of the group matches means we have to replace him in the central midfield area."
Lampard joins Barry, Jack Wilshere and Jack Rodwell on the England midfield injury list, leaving Hodgson with a limited number of options in the center. Scott Parker is the only full-time central midfielder remaining in the team. Henderson has played in the center and on the wing for Liverpool, Steven Gerrard usually plays as an attacking midfielder, and James Milner played on the wing in England's friendly against Norway. One of them will have to be moved into a deep central midfield position alongside Parker. Gerrard started the match against Norway in that spot.
Though Hodgson is without four of his best options, it is curious that he's left his team so dangerously thin in the center. Both Michael Carrick and Leon Britton are coming off solid seasons and even though they may not have the physical talent or creativity of players like Milner and Henderson, they would be much more natural fits.