Ivanovic out of Serbia qualifiers

BELGRADE - Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will miss Serbia's opening Euro 2012 qualifiers in Faroe Islands on Friday due to a back injury and is also unlikely to play in the home game with Slovenia on September 7.

"I asked Chelsea to let me come to Belgrade for a couple of days to spend some time with the team but I knew straight away I would be unfit to play," he told the Serbian Football Association's website on Tuesday.

"There is a very slim chance I might recover for the Slovenia game but it is unlikely because the verdict is I could be out of action for up to six weeks."

Ivanovic was injured in Chelsea's 6-0 Premier League win at Wigan Athletic earlier this month. Antonio Rukavina or Pavle Ninkov could stand in for Serbia's first-choice right-back.

Serbia's other Group C rivals are Italy, Estonia and Northern Ireland.

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