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Welbeck out of Brazil friendly

ESPN staff
June 1, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Danny Welbeck has not recovered from a knee injury © Getty Images
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England striker Danny Welbeck has failed to recover from a knee injury in time to face Brazil at the refurbished Marcana on Sunday, with the Three Lions looking increasingly short of bodies for the game.

Welbeck, 22, had been expected to at least be able to take his place on the bench for the clash with the five-time World Cup winners but he has been unable to shake off the problem that kept him out of Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Ireland at Wembley.

"It's unfortunate,'' England boss Roy Hodgson said. "We were rather hoping the injury that kept him out of the game against Ireland would heal itself or he would recover from it but unfortunately that's not the case and we just have the players who stepped off the plane. Fortunately they are all fit and ready to go.''

It leaves Hodgson with a threadbare squad, having already had Andy Carroll, Tom Cleverley and Kyle Walker pull out, while Daniel Sturridge picked up an injury against Ireland that also rules him out.

However, the former Fulham and Liverpool manager believes he can cope with the absences.

"We wouldn't have minded one or two more but we're only allowed to make six substitutions so we'll have the requisite number of players on the bench to do that,'' Hodgson said.

"It does mean more players are going to have to take part in the game and maybe it will be a little bit harder for some of those starting as they may have to stay on for a bit longer than they might otherwise have done.

"Our possibilities for change are not that numerous to be perfectly honest. In defence we have Joleon Lescott and Leighton Baines who didn't start the other night, in midfield we have young Jack Rodwell who stepped in at the last minute and we've also got Jermain Defoe and James Milner.

"We are limited in that respect but it's good in the respect that we want players to play for longer periods rather than making substitutions every two minutes.''

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