Friday, February 12, 2010

Injury Update: England's Ashley Cole Out

The first-team left back for the English national team, Ashley Cole, suffered a broken ankle during Chelsea's game Wednesday vs. Everton ... and Cole will be out at least three months.

That takes Cole to May 10, only a month ahead of the June 11 starting date for South Africa 2010. England has depth at the position, but if Cole's replacements were as good as he is, they would start, wouldn't they?

Two interesting sidelights to this injury:

1. Cole's national-team backup is Wayne Bridge. Yes, the same Wayne Bridge whose girlfriend was snared by his Three Lions teammate, former captain John Terry. Apparently, Bridge isn't very fond of Terry right now, and if Bridge moves into the starting lineup with Terry ...

You don't have to love the guys you play with, but it's generally better if you don't hate them.

2. Cole's injury came after a semi-reckless tackle by Everton's Landon Donovan. That would be the same Landon Donovan who is one of the leading attacking players for the U.S. national team. And England plays the U.S. in its first World Cup match, on June 12 in Rustenburg.

I know Donovan, and I can't imagine he had the slightest intent to injury Ashley Cole. But English players may not see it that way, and it could be open season on the U.S. midfielder for the duration of his loan from Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy to Everton.

Landon may want to keep his head on a swivel until he leaves England, is what we're thinking.
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