Cole out of World Cup qualifier
Chance for Baines as experienced left-back withdraws from squad
Last Updated: 03/09/12 7:09pm
Ashley Cole: Withdrawn from the England squad with an ankle injury
Ashley Cole will miss England's World Cup qualifier against Moldova on Friday with an ankle injury.
The Chelsea left-back has been forced to withdraw from the squad after picking up the problem in the Blues' 4-1 UEFA Super Cup defeat by Atletico Madrid in Monaco at the weekend.
The news comes as a blow to manager Roy Hodgson as he hopes to make a winning start to England's World Cup campaign.
But there is still hope that Cole could be involved in the home fixture against Ukraine at Wembley next week.
A statement on the Football Association website read: "Cole has a minor ankle concern and will be treated by his club this week, before being assessed by the England medical staff on Sunday to see if he is available for the FIFA World Cup qualifier with Ukraine, on Tuesday 11 September."
The withdrawal of the 31-year-old could present an opportunity for Leighton Baines to add to his international caps.
The Everton full-back deputised for Cole in the friendly win over Italy in Switzerland last month.
Cole needs just two more caps to become only the sixth man to make 100 appearances for England.