March 21, 2018 / 4:39 AM / in 9 months

Soccer: Bertrand ruled out of England friendlies with back injury

Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley vs Southampton - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - February 24, 2018 Southampton's Ryan Bertrand in action with Burnley's Johann Berg Gudmundsson REUTERS/Andrew Yate

(Reuters) - Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand has withdrawn from the England squad for friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy due to a back injury, the Football Association (FA) has said.

The 28-year-old, who has been capped 19 times by England, will miss Friday’s trip to face the Dutch in Amsterdam and the home game against Italy four days later.

The FA said in a statement Bertrand was “returning to Southampton for further assessment on a back issue.

“Bertrand’s withdrawal is a precautionary measure, but he won’t play in this month’s matches.”

The left-back’s withdrawal leaves Danny Rose and Ashley Young competing for a starting spot as players look to show they are worth a place in England’s squad for the World Cup.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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