Woodgate loses out for friendly against Argentina

Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate lost a chance to break into England's World Cup squad when he injured his hamstring playing for the 29-time Spanish league champion on Sunday.

The injury-plagued Woodgate, who spent 18 months on the sidelines from April of last year because of left thigh muscle problems that needed repeated surgery, was expected to be named in Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad for next weekend's friendly against Argentina. The last of his five England appearances was against Sweden.

But Eriksson received news that Woodgate limped off after just 23 minutes of Madrid's 1-0 league win against Real Zaragoza.

England faces Argentina in Geneva on Saturday, but Eriksson is unable to field his strongest squad because of long term injuries to Gary Neville, Owen Hargreaves, Kieron Dyer and Ashley Cole. Jamie Carragher also was injured in Liverpool's 2-0 victory at Aston Villa on Saturday.

West Ham left back Paul Konchesky gets a chance to break into the World Cup squad. Konchesky's consistent performances for his club have helped the Hammers get off to an impressive start on their return to the top flight and the former Charlton defender, who has played frequently for the England under-21 team, has broken into the senior squad for the second time since playing in a 3-1 home loss to Australia in February 2003.

An injury to backup goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has given David James a chance to return to the squad. The Manchester City goalkeeper had been left out after a series of poor performances, including England's 4-1 loss to Denmark in a friendly in August.

Eriksson also has included Chelsea left back Wayne Bridge, even though he has recently returned to competitive soccer after a double break of his left ankle in February. Tottenham's Michael Carrick was also included after some impressive games for his club. Squad:

Goalkeepers: Paul Robinson (Tottenham), David James (Manchester City), Robert Green (Norwich)

Defenders: Luke Young (Charlton), John Terry (Chelsea), Sol Campbell (Arsenal), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Paul Konchesky (West Ham), Phil Neville (Everton), Wayne Bridge (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Ledley King (Tottenham), David Beckham (Real Madrid), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Jermaine Jenas (Newcastle), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Alan Smith (Manchester United), Michael Carrick (Tottenham)

Forwards: Michael Owen (Newcastle), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), AP reports.

A. A.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team