Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mystery of Bent's England Injuries

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mystery of Bent's England Injuries

Article excerpt

SUNDERLAND will contact the Football Association to ask why Darren Bent keeps missing England matches through injury despite being an ever-present at club level, writes STUART RAYNER.

Since joining the Black Cats in the summer of 2009, Bent has sat out only three club matches - rested for last season's League Cup by manager Steve Bruce. But his time with the international squad has been very different.

Bent missed games against Mexico in May, Hungary in August and Montenegro last week through injury. Bruce is anxious to know why.

"(When players are on international duty) your worst fear is getting the call saying someone is injured," he said. "It is a shame with Darren because that is three times now he has been with England and got injured.

"If you have problem with a player, someone who has a bad back for example, you have dialogue with the England medical staff but you can't interfere with training.

"But I will be informing my medical department to have a word and just see. If it happens once, fine these things happen. But if it has happened two or three times when he has been away with England then that is not healthy, especially considering he has not missed a game or even a training session since he has been here." Bent's withdrawal from the squad to play Hungary was due to an injury picked up in a friendly in Hoffenheim the previous weekend, but the other problems - including the abductor strain which has put his involvement in Monday's televised game with Blackburn Rovers in doubt - were collected in England training sessions. It is not unusual for Premier League footballers to be ruled out of internationals through injury, only to miraculously recover for club duty. But Bent would not have wanted to miss any of the three games. The Mexico friendly was an opportunity for the striker to stake his claim to play at the World Cup. …

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