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England’s Stones pulls out of Ivory Coast friendly


London (AFP) – England defender John Stones will miss Tuesday’s friendly against Ivory Coast after leaving the squad due to injury.

Stones was due to start England’s 2-1 friendly win against Switzerland on Saturday, but the Manchester City centre-back pulled out after suffering an injury in the pre-match warm-up at Wembley.

England boss Gareth Southgate said Stones “felt a bit of tightness” before that match and the Football Association on Monday confirmed he will play no part against Ivory Coast at Wembley.

“John Stones has left the England camp and returned to Manchester City,” an FA statement said.

“Having withdrawn from the starting line-up ahead of Saturday’s 2-1 victory against Switzerland at Wembley, the defender has continued to be assessed.

“After today’s session at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground, it was decided that Stones would play no part against Cote d’Ivoire on Tuesday and has returned to his club as a precaution.”

Stones is the seventh player to withdraw from the England squad for their current friendlies.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Tammy Abraham and Aaron Ramsdale pulled out through injury, before Ramsdale’s replacement Sam Johnstone withdrew and Bukayo Saka tested positive for Covid-19.

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