England boss Roy Hodgson couldn’t risk injured Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy at Euro 2012
England manager Roy Hodgson admitted he could not take a risk with the injury that forced Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy to withdraw from his Euro 2012 squad.
The 25-year-old Ruddy has been ruled out of the tournament after suffering a broken finger in his first training session with the national side.
The Canaries' No 1 was called up for the first time by Hodgson for the championships in Poland and Ukraine and was hoping to win his first cap against Norway in Saturday's friendly in Oslo.
Instead, he had to be content with watching the game before returning home. Ironically, Ruddy has broken his ring finger, just a week before he marries partner Laura.
'That really was unlucky for us,' said Hodgson. 'He was so excited about being called up and getting his chance for the international team and go to the European Championships.
'To break a finger in training, in the goalkeeping work as well, was really unfortunate for him.'
But Hodgson said there was no way Ruddy could have taken part in the tournament.
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He added: 'We can't take a risk. The finger is broken and will heal before the start of the season but the medical advice was that we had no chance to take him with us.
'He had to stop and as a result we've given a chance to the under-21 goalkeeper, Jack Butland, who is cutting short his holiday in Mexico to join us and go to Poland instead.'
Birmingham's 19-year-old Butland has never played at a higher level in club football than League Two, with a career record of 24 appearances on loan to Cheltenham.
Ruddy was keeping his spirits up despite the injury, the first broken bone of his career.
'Thank you for the messages, gutted but determined to come back better next season, can't wait for the wedding now!' Ruddy wrote on Twitter.
'Taken lots of positives from the two days' training, and the biggest positive is that it happened with England before a major tournament.'
Ruddy had been given special dispensation by England boss Hodgson to miss the friendly against Belgium at Wembley on Saturday as it clashed with his wedding.
He added: 'Also to everyone who has asked . . . as if it wasn't unlucky enough, it IS my ring finger and also my first ever broken bone!'
City boss Paul Lambert backed Ruddy to bounce back quickly from his bitter disappointment.
Lambert said: 'It's a blow for John but I've no doubt he'll come back even stronger, and if he keeps playing like he has done for me this season, he'll have a great chance of being involved with England squads again in the future, I am sure.
'He has been fantastic this season for Norwich City, and deserved his call-up to the squad, but to pick up an injury like that is terrible bad luck.
'I'm sure being with the squad has been a great experience for John, and one he can take into next season for Norwich.'
Ruddy's injury has echoes of the misfortune suffered by then Norwich 'keeper Robert Green, who ruptured his groin taking a goal-kick in an England B international against Belarus, ruling him out of the World Cup in Germany in 2006.
Birmingham manager Chris Hughton, meanwhile, backed the inexperience Butland to cope with his rapid elevation through the ranks.
'It'll be great for his experience and development, I don't think he would be fazed by it,' said Hughton.
'It's a massive step up but the experience he'll gain working with Ray Clemence and Dave Watson and around the quality of players will be invaluable.'
But Hughton sympathised with the unfortunate Ruddy.
'My thoughts also have to be with John Ruddy,' he said.
'He's had a wonderful season with Norwich and deserved that opportunity, but they certainly have a worthy replacement in young Jack.'