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Injury forces Swiss striker Frei out of Euro

Latest update : 2008-06-10

Alexander Frei, Swiss captain and top striker, will be out for the rest of the Euro 2008 with a ligament injury after a foul with Czech defender Zdenek Grygera during the opening match. The Swiss team only have two strikers remaining.

Switzerland captain Alex Frei will play no further part in the co-host's Euro 2008 campaign, a team doctor said on Sunday.

"Frei has partially ruptured a ligament in his left knee and will be out for around six weeks," Cuno Wetzel told a news conference at the team's base in central Switzerland.

Swiss all-time leading international scorer Frei, 28, limped out of his team's opening 1-0 defeat against Czech Republic in tears on Saturday following a first-half foul by Zdenek Grygera.

His absence is likely to be sorely felt by the co-hosts who had already lost fellow forward Blaise Nkufo to injury before the tournament got underway.

"Of course it hurts for us to lose our captain and one of our most important players, our goal-getter," Switzerland coach Koebi Kuhn told Sunday's news conference.

"But I have already told the team that the looking back is over. It doesn't help us to look back. We have to look ahead to our next match which we will just have to win without Alex."

Kuhn now has only two out-and-out strikers remaining in his squad, Frei's regular partner Marco Streller and the internationally inexperienced teenager Eren Derdiyok.

Midfielders Hakan Yakin, Johan Vonlanthen and Daniel Gygax can also be deployed up front if necessary.

Switzerland's remaining Group A matches are against Turkey on Wednesday and Portugal next Sunday.

Date created : 2008-06-08

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