Crocked England defender Luke Shaw could have been in the team of the tournament at Euro 2016, according to Roy Hodgson.
The 20-year-old Manchester United left-back suffered a double leg break in their Champions League defeat to PSV Eindhoven last month and has since undergone two operations.
"We were certainly punting on him being the (England) left-back and arguably looking to be the best left-back in the tournament," he said of Shaw, who currently has six senior caps.
"It is a cruel blow, particularly for him, England will survive and he will too but at that stage in your career to suffer that type of injury when you have almost had a year of not playing is heart-breaking and we feel for him - and he knows how much we care."
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Roy Hodgson has postponed the announcement of his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers with San Marino and Switzerland due to the number of decisions which still need to be made.
The announcement had been scheduled to take place on Tuesday afternoon, but Hodgson will instead reveal his chosen players on August 30.
After meeting with my coaching staff today we have decided to wait until this Sunday before announcing the squad to face San Marino and Switzerland.
We have a large of number of players that still need confirming regarding availability and fitness so rather than selecting a larger squad now, we will wait for the games at the weekend before choosing around 23 players who are definitely available.
England play in San Marino on September 5 and face Switzerland at Wembley on September 8, with both matches shown live on ITV.
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Raheem Sterling will emerge from the furore surrounding his transfer to Manchester City stronger for the experience, according to England boss Roy Hodgson.
The 20-year-old enraged Liverpool fans by making clear he wanted to leave Anfield after turning down a lucrative contract offer.
Hodgson believes Sterling coped mentally with any fall-out, and said:
He was playing for a club with a very strong fan base, not only in England but in other parts of the world, and unfortunately for him, I suppose, the fans locally at Liverpool took unkindly to the fact that he made it clear he wanted to move.
That is part and parcel of football really. I think if anything that will help him to mature and improve even more. I think for his age he is a remarkably strong and robust person, not just physically on the field but mentally.
And these things, if anything, will make him stronger. He has got a big price tag to carry around, but I think he is a good enough player to do so.
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England manager Roy Hodgson was spotted in the stands on centre court today, where Roger Federer is one set up against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.
Britian's Andy Murray plays his first round match against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin once Federer's match has finished.
Roy Hodgson resisted the temptation to call up Jack Grealish to the England squad because he did not want the Aston Villa midfielder to receive a hostile reception if he made his debut in Dublin.
Despite being born in Solihull to English parents, the 19-year-old has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level as he qualifies for the country through his grandfather.
Last week Republic manager Martin O'Neill said Grealish had turned down a call-up to the senior squad and that the player was considering switching allegiance to England.
Given that next month will be the first time that England have played in Dublin since the Lansdowne Road riot of 1995, the match is likely to be charged with emotion and Hodgson did not want to put the teenager in that situation by selection him.
I would not have picked him on this occasion because it would have been inflammatory at the last minute if he chose us and played against the Republic of Ireland.