Monday, June 2, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Injuries Plague Group C

The major drawback of summer international tournaments is players arriving on the heels of a grueling club season. We can't say for certain that's to blame for the rash of pre-tournament injuries that have hit Group C, but some big names are already out of action. The biggest is Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro, who tore ankle ligaments during a practice collision with teammate Giorgi Chiellini Monday. The Italian team had been in Austria for only a few hours before losing the veteran defender.

Two days earlier torn ankle ligaments claimed Holland forward Ryan Babel, although his injury did not involve contact. The loss was a difficult one for an already banged-up Dutch side. Reports Monday suggested that striker Robin van Persie will likely miss the opener against Italy.

French captain Patrick Viera is also out for the opener, the victim of an ankle injury. Mathieu Flamini has been called up to take Viera's roster spot for now, although France have until the day before their June 9 game against Romania to make final roster decisions.

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