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Lampard out of Euro 2012 amid Parker fitness fears
By ROB HARRIS
LONDON (AP) England's problems in central midfield were dealt another setback on Thursday when Frank Lampard was ruled out of the European Championship with a thigh injury, while there are lingering doubts about Scott Parker's match fitness.
The week started with a third central midfielder, Gareth Barry, leaving Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad due to a stomach injury.
Another change was enforced when scans revealed the thigh injury Lampard sustained in training the previous day would not heal in time for the Euro 2012 group stage.
Liverpool's Jordan Henderson was drafted into the squad, which plays its last warmup match against Belgium at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Hodgson is set to deploy a central midfield partnership of captain Steven Gerrard and Parker, who missed the last four matches of the English Premier League for Tottenham with an Achilles' injury that he is still to shake off.
Parker played 56 minutes of last weekend's 1-0 victory over Norway but is not at the top of his game and is lacking sharpness and mobility.
Despite not being at his peak, he is still set to start the Euro 2012 opener against France on June 11.
Hodgson will be hoping Parker shows signs of improvement after losing Lampard.
"It's a huge blow for the team, especially coming after the loss of another senior player in Gareth Barry," Hodgson said. "The fact that the doctor cannot guarantee Frank could take part in any of the group matches means we have to replace him.
"Apart from it being a huge blow to me and the team, I'm especially disappointed for Frank himself. He has been in very good form and was looking forward to the tournament."
On Monday, Barry was replaced in the squad by defender Phil Jagielka.
After facing France in the Euro 2012 opener, England will meet Sweden and co-host Ukraine in Group D.
Updated May 31, 2012