Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic will not be available in his country’s pre-Euro warm up game against England on Wednesday.
The former West Ham player was looking to make his return to England after 2 years, but he suffered an injury playing in the Chinese Super League earlier this month.
The 32-year-old striker would have been eager to return to some European football after spending a majority of his last 2 seasons with the Chinese club Shanghai Port.
The prolific goal scorer, who was scored 19 goals in 30 games for his current club, will not be able to feature against his former teammate Declan Rice who is expected to start against Austria on Wednesday.
Arnautovic endured a right thigh muscle tear which keeps him out of contention for the line-up. “We are taking his muscle injury seriously and are on the right track,” team doctor Michael Fiedler told reporters on Sunday. “But we will definitely skip the England game and not risk any injury.”
Austria meets England in the first of its two warm-up games in Middlesbrough, after which it takes on Slovakia next Sunday in Vienna, where Arnautovic will be available, coach Franco Foda added.
Fellow striker Karim Onisiwo might also miss out against England after pulling out of Sunday’s training with knee pain, while Stefan Ilsanker missed the session because of illness. But Austria captain Julian Baumgartlinger was back in training.
Austria have a decent set of players, most of whom are plying their trade in the Bundesliga. The player to look out for in their side will be the former Bayern Munich legend David Alaba, who is set to join Real Madrid this summer. He is a versatile defender, who is usually deployed in midfield for his nation.
Austria are placed in Group C, which also includes Netherlands, North Macedonia and Ukraine. With due respect to North Macedonia, Austria and Ukraine will be the likely team to join Netherlands for the knockout stage. Austria opens its Euro 2020 campaign against North Macedonia in Bucharest on June 13.