Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky will miss next month's European Championship because of an injury.
|Tomas Rosicky will be absent for the |
Czech Republic [GALLO/GETTY]
The Arsenal midfielder has said he will undergo surgery on his injured tendon next week on Tuesday in London and won't recover in time for the June 7-29 tournament in Austria and Switzerland.
"I want to announce that I won't be able to play at the European Championship,'' Rosicky said at a news conference in Prague.
The Arsenal midfielder had to be substituted in the first half of an FA Cup match against Newcastle on January 26 and has not played since.
He suffered the injury following a tackle in a January 19 Premier League match at Fulham.
"I have no other option than to undergo the operation,'' Rosicky said, adding that it was unclear how long it will take to recover.
"The tendon is likely more damaged than it had seemed.... This is the worst period of my career.''
His absence is a serious blow for the Czechs.
On field leader
Rosicky has become the team's undisputed leader after taking over the captaincy from Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved, who retired from international soccer after the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The 27-year-old has played 68 internationals, scoring 19 goals.
"Tomas Rosicky's absence at the tournament is a loss for us,'' Czech Republic coach Karel Bruckner said in a statement, adding the player informed him about the operation Thursday.
"All possible ways of medical treatment which would give Tomas a chance to play at Euro have been exhausted.''
The Czech Republic opens the tournament on June 7 against Switzerland and also faces Turkey and Portugal in Group A.
Rosicky said the Czechs still stand a good chance to succeed at Euro 2008.
"I'm an optimist. I think that the Czech team will be successful at the championship even without me,'' he said.
"I trust the team.''
Rosicky said he partially resumed training after two weeks of rehabilitation in the Czech capital last month.
"First five days, it looked good but than I felt a pain again,'' he said.
Rosicky travelled to Germany this week for another medical check but the trip only confirmed the necessity of the operation, he said.
"I believed to the last moment that I'll be fine,'' he said.
Reading midfielder Marek Matejovsky or David Jarolim of Hamburger SV could take Rosicky's place in the Czech squad. Another option could be to persuade Nedved to return.
"It is up to (Nedved) to make the decision,'' Rosicky said. "Nobody else but he has to say he's returning.''