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Lennon's absence leaves hole in England midfield

  • AP, Sunday, April 18, 2010 10:16 PM

Aaron Lennon, the player expected to keep David Beckham out of the England starting lineup at the World Cup if he had not been injured, is doubtful for South Africa with a groin injury that has sidelined him for four months.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says Lennon, England's No. 1 right winger, isn't ready to return. "He's training but he's had three or four setbacks,'' Redknapp said. "We've got to take it day by day with him. He'll join in this week and do some stuff with us but he's not ready to play just yet.''

The 23-year-old Lennon's pace made him a favorite to start for Fabio Capello at the World Cup. The erratic form of Theo Walcott and Shaun Wright-Phillips leaves the England coach with no obvious choice on the right side of midfield.

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