Back injury ruins Darren Bent’s England hopes

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Sunderland striker Darren Bent has been ruled out of England's friendly international against Hungary by a back injury.

The 26-year-old had been troubled by the problem during pre-season action with the Black Cats and is a major doubt for their opening Premier League game of the campaign against Birmingham City next weekend.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce, who had already questioned the timing of England's game on Wednesday, commented:"A team's only as good as its strikers and we have one who's very precious to us. He's a natural scorer.

"Darren's had a couple of niggles in pre-season. I'd hoped all my lads would come back fit and healthy."

Bent had been hoping to impress after missing out on selection for the World Cup final in South Africa earlier this summer.

To date he has won six caps for his country, but has yet to break his goalscoring duck on the international stage.

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