Chris Smalling forced out of England squad after picking up injury in training

by Tanveer Arayan

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has withdrawn from England’s squad to face Lithuania on Sunday after picking up an injury while in training.

The 27-year-old injured Phil Jones earlier in the week after a poor tackle in training, ruling out his Man United team-mate for nine weeks with a broken toe.

Jose Mourinho will be massively concerned as two of his four centre-backs have been injured during the international break, with a busy schedule of fixtures approaching in April.

He played 90 minutes in the side’s 1-0 defeat against Germany on Wednesday and would have been expected to start in the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania if he was fit.

While the FA have confirmed his injury, they are yet to comment on the extent of his situation as he’s expected to return to Manchester and get an update.

This leaves Mourinho with just Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo as senior centre-back options, although Axel Tuanzebe has been involved with the senior squad on match days and made his debut earlier this season, with Daley Blind also fit and ready.

Man United approach the Europa League quarter-final and Premier League clashes with Chelsea and Manchester City before the end of April and it’ll be a tough time if any more players get injured over the break.

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