Capello: Medical checks on England withdrawals

BERLIN - Players who are injured the weekend before an international will have to report for checks by an England team doctor before pulling out, manager Fabio Capello said on Tuesday. His squad for Wednesday's friendly in Germany, already looking thin, was further hit when midfielders Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were hurt in weekend Premier League games. Gerrard was asked to travel from Liverpool to London for a check by an England doctor before being excused while Chelsea's Lampard was also examined. Capello said he was satisfied both were unfit to play but added everyone in future would be required to undergo the same checks in similar circumstances. "The players are injured, that's the only problem," the Italian told a news conference at the Olympiastadion. "Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand didn't play at the weekend so they could never be in the squad. "We checked Gerrard and Lampard. This will be the rule for future games. The doctor will check the condition of the players." David Beckham, Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and Joe Cole are among the other players England were unable to consider because of injury or fitness concerns, leaving the manager little option but to experiment. "I'm happy because tomorrow some players that play very well in the Premier League can play a very important game against a big team and I can check the confidence and the performance of these players," Capello said. "I hope to learn a lot, even in a friendly game. "To me there are no friendlies. The only friendly is the training session before the match."