11/05/2012 06:07 BST

England Defender Chris Smalling Ruled Out Of European Championship With Groin Injury

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been ruled out of the European Championship for England.

Smalling picked up a groin injury in United's 2-0 defeat of Swansea City last week, but had to continue after the injured Rio Ferdinand was withdrawn instead.

Although Sir Alex Ferguson initially stated he would be available for this weekend's clash with Sunderland, the 22-year-old will not travel to Ukraine and Poland as part of Roy Hodgson's squad.

Ferguson said: “Chris Smalling got a bad injury last week. We tried to take him off, then Rio got a knock.

Smalling scores United's first of the season

“He’s going to miss the European Championship. At the moment we're assessing what we'll do, but certainly it's a bad injury.”

Smalling has won three caps for England since he made his senior debut in the Euro 2012 qualifier away to Bulgaria in September.

Signed by United in January 2010 for £10m from Fulham, he excelled in his first season but sporadic injuries and positional tinkering have hamstrung progress in the present campaign.

He started the season at right-back despite impressing in his natural centre-back role, and has often been deployed outside of his preferred position.