Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky announced ON Friday that he will not be taking part in next month's UEFA European Championships due to a recurring knee injury.

"I'm not capable of starting the European Championships. My injury requires an operation. I will go (for it) at the start of next week," Rosicky told a special news conference.

"I'm maybe enduring the worst period in my career. I lost out on most of the season with Arsenal. I was really looking forward to the Championships," he added.

The announcement comes a month after local football chiefs raised the alarm over the Arsenal midfield star's EURO chances because of a painful knee injury which has stopped him playing since the end of January.

Speculation has mounted locally that manger Karel Bruckner would be forced to try and tempt Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved to come out of international retirement.

"The ball is now with Pavel," commented Czech and Moravian Football Federation spokesman Lukas Tucek. "He must decide if he wants to return."

Reading's Marek Matejovsky, Jaroslav Plasil, of Spanish side Osasuna, or Hamburg's David Jarolim are other options for the key playmaker role for the tournament from 7 to 29 June.

Rosicky, 27, was cleared by Arsenal to recover in his homeland in mid-April and he had declared an improvement in his health at the end of the month.

The Czechs face co-hosts Switzerland, Portugal and Turkey.