Bent ruled out of England qualifier

Just 24 hours after speaking up his chances with England, Darren Bent’s hopes for a start against Montenegro have been dashed by injury.

The Sunderland striker had been tipped for a starting role alongside Wayne Rooney after manager Fabio Capello had declared that the former Ipswich Town star was “one of the important players for the future”.

Bent, who has never enjoyed a consistent relationship with the England national team since his first call-up five years ago, will now have to prove himself again after sustaining a groin injury in training.

The 26-year-old had hoped to win his eighth cap and make his first competitive start in the qualifier but now joins John Terry, Phil Jagielka and Aaron Lennon on the sidelines. Peter Crouch is now set to start upfront instead.

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