Larsson to miss World Cup qualifier against Portugal

Larsson to miss World Cup qualifier against Portugal
The captain of Sweden's national side, Henrik Larsson, will miss Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Portugal in Stockholm, due to a strain in his right thigh muscle, the Swedish Football Association said Tuesday.

“It often takes a few weeks for such injuries to heal, so I don’t think even a miracle could save Saturday’s game” for Larsson, national team doctor Anders Valentin said in a statement.

Coach Lars Lagerbaeck said he was disappointed that Larsson would not be able to play.

“(Larsson) is an important player on and off the field, a leader, and we don’t really have any other forward that has the same capabilities he has,” he said in the statement.

Larsson is the latest in a long list of key Swedish players working through injuries, including Christian Wilhelmsson, Anders Svensson, Tobias Linderoth, Olof Mellberg and Erik Edman.

“I can’t remember ever having anywhere near this many important players from the starting eleven injured,” Lagerbäck told the Aftonbladet newspaper.