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Ledley: It could have been me

Posted on 31 August 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

You would excuse Ledley King for casting an envious glance towards Middlesbrough on Thursday night. Instead of having the chance to further his reputation with another run out for England Under-21s in the friendly against Georgia at the Riverside Stadium, King will have to settle for watching it on television as he recovers from injury.

Our outstanding 19-year-old was the star of the summer's European Under-21 Championships before disaster struck in the last seconds of England's final match. King broke down in agony, was stretchered off the pitch and X-rays later revealed a fracture on his right foot.

Thankfully a lonely summer of rehabilitation - he missed out on a holiday because he was stuck at home in plaster - has been worth it and the versatile midfielder/defender is back in full training.

"I'm absolutely gutted to miss out, especially after the summer went so well," he said. "I'll just have watch it on television instead. At least my fitness is coming on though. I'm kicking a ball again and I'd like to think I'll be playing again within a couple of weeks."

King's team-mate Luke Young is in manager Howard Wilkinson's squad for the friendly and having also featured in the European Championships, will hope to play some part against Georgia.

He made his first Premiership appearance of the season as a substitute at Newcastle on Saturday and admitted: "Being selected for the squad was a nice boost for me at this stage of the season."