More problems for Johnson

Bath full-back out of England international with toe injury

Last Updated: 29/10/08 6:50pm

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Abendanon: Injury blow

Abendanon: Injury blow

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England head coach Martin Johnson has more selection problems ahead of him after full-back Nick Abendanon was forced out of the squad with a toe injury.

Bath full-back Abendanon was expected to start England's first autumn international against the Pacific Islanders but he is now back at his club receiving medical treatment.

The 22-year-old was with the England squad at Pennyhill Park on Sunday but his damaged big toe joint needed a scan to discover the full extent of the injury.

An operation is not required but Abendanon will sit it out for up to a month to give the problem time to heal, but Johnson's problems continue to mount.

"Nick returned to his club last night and will be treated by the Bath medical team," read an England statement.

"The England medics will remain in close contact with the club and player."

No replacement for Abendanon has been called up into the England squad, and Johnson could now go for uncapped London Irish three-quarter Delon Armitage at 15 if Mathew Tait is not fit enough to play.

Tait has been struggling with a hamstring problem while another possible replacement, Josh Lewsey, has been sent back to Wasps.

More selection problems for England come with Leicester hooker George Chuter, who is not available for club duty at the weekend due to a strained ligament but he could make the Pacific Islanders game.

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