Jagielka out of England squad due to thigh strain

England's Phil Jagielka leaves the training session at St George's Park
England's Phil Jagielka leaves the training session at St George's Park
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Everton defender Phil Jagielka has pulled out of the England squad to face Malta and Slovenia with a thigh strain.

The Football Association announced the defender has returned to his club for treatment but is expected to be fit for the Toffees’ Premier League trip to Manchester City next Saturday.

Interim boss Gareth Southgate has no immediate plans to call up a replacement ahead of Saturday’s World Cup qualifier with Malta at Wembley.

Jagielka did not take part in the full England training session on Tuesday following Everton’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Friday but his absence was planned.

He left the squad on Wednesday to travel back to Merseyside leaving Gary Cahill, Michael Keane, Chris Smalling and John Stones as England’s centre-back options.

Chelsea’s Cahill also failed to train at St George’s Park on Friday morning with the 30-year-old suffering from a sore throat but he is expected to be fit to face Malta before England go to Slovenia for Tuesday’s Group F game.

Raheem Sterling and Glen Johnson had already withdrawn from Southgate’s first squad because of injury with Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend and Burnley’s Keane called up.

The rest of the squad, including captain Wayne Rooney and Manchester United team-mate Marcus Rashford, trained on Friday ahead of travelling to London in the afternoon.

England are joint top of Group F, behind Scotland on goal difference, following their 1-0 win in Slovakia last month under former boss Sam Allardyce who left the job after just 67 days following a Daily Telegraph investigation into corruption in football.