By Jeremy Cross
ENGLAND are facing a midfield crisis after Frank Lampard became the latest star to be ruled out of Euro 2012.
Lampard’s worst fears were confirmed last night when he was sidelined for a month with a thigh problem and told he will take no part in the tournament.
Lampard was devastated by the news, which came as a crushing blow to boss Roy Hodgson’s hopes of leading England to success in Poland and Ukraine.
Hodgson was already without Jack Wilshere and has seen both Lampard and Gareth Barry struck down this week.
To make matters worse Starsport understands Hodgson and his medical staff still have concerns about the fragile fitness of Scott Parker following his Achilles injury.
It means Hodgson has just one fully-fit, first choice central midfielder available in captain Steven Gerrard ahead of tomorrow’s final warm-up against Belgium at Wembley.
England leave for Poland next Wednesday and Hodgson has been forced to call up Jordan Henderson to replace Lampard, subject to UEFA clearance.
“Apart from it being a huge blow to me and the team, I’m especially disappointed for Frank himself,” said Hodgson.
“He has been in very good form and was looking forward to the tournament. He made a huge contribution towards us qualifying so it is cruel to be forced out through injury.
“It’s a huge blow, especially coming after the loss of another senior player in Gareth Barry.
“The doctor cannot guarantee Frank could take part in any of the group matches.”
Parker will start against Belgium and is expected to face France in their Group D opener on June 11. But there is a feeling within the camp that Parker laboured against Norway and is still some way short of his best form and fitness.
The Tottenham star went on holiday to Dubai after the Premier League season finished instead of staying in England to work on his Achilles problem.
He missed the last four games of the Premier season and played less than an hour in Oslo.
Lampard, who has won 90 caps, could have played his last game for his country. He will be nearly 36 by the time the 2014 World Cup comes around and Hodgson will be looking to build for the future after the Euros.