The 26-year-old was forced to miss England’s Euro 2012 campaign after the centre-half broke his jaw in the final warm-up game against Belgium.
Cahill had established himself as a first-team regular alongside Chelsea team-mate John Terry in the absence of Three Lions veteran Rio Ferdinand under former England boss Fabio Capello.
However, he acknowledged that his injury earlier this summer has hampered his international career, with Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka starting the Ukraine tie.
“Before these last two England games [against Ukraine and Moldova], I probably didn’t realise just how much damage that injury did to my chances,” he told the Sun.
“Towards the back end of last season, I’d forced my way into the team and was starting most matches.
“In the weeks before the Euros, I felt as though I could be a big part of that competition. But to have that unfortunate injury has clearly set me back in the pecking order.
“I wouldn’t say I was surprised when I didn’t play against Ukraine. I was more disappointed and frustrated. It feels like things are out of my hands again.
“You think you’re progressing, then all of a sudden you’re back to square one. That’s the way I feel at the minute.”
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