Reo-Coker's sadness at England injury blow

Nigel Reo-Coker has revealed his disappointment at being forced to pull out of the England squad following the results of a scan on his back carried out yesterday.

The Hammers skipper had been suffering with back ache towards the end of the season, but played on through the pain, and it was advised that a scan be taken after the problem persisted during his time on standby with Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad last week.

The results showed a slight slipped disc which, if aggravated any further, could cause serious injury. It is therefore recommended he has complete rest until the injury heals. NIgel is obviously disappointed but has still gained a great deal from being around the full England set-up.

"It is obviously really disappointing to have to withdraw from being on stand-by," he says, "but I obviously have to listen to the advice of the doctors and do what is best for my long-term future.

"I still had a great week training with England last week in Portugal, working with world-class players and top-class coaches, so there is a lot I can take away from that. Now I must rest my back and get ready for next season, and hopefully there will be other opportunities with England in the future. "

Everton midfielder Phil Neville replaces Nigel on stand-by before the World Cup.

By Miranda Nagalingam