After ruling out Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph out of the England squad European Championships in France this summer, Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson confirmed that Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has picked up a calf injury and is a doubt for their friendly with Australia on Friday.
“He has had a calf strain since he joined up with us,” said Hodgson when asked about the Reds striker in the pre-match press conference. “We’ve been hoping it will get better, we shall see tomorrow [Friday] morning whether there has been any improvement,” continued the England boss. “We’re waiting on him and I can’t give you any more information than that. We’ll see tomorrow and if he reports fit, I’d want him to play in the game and if he isn’t fit he won’t be able to.”
Sturridge, of course, spent the better part of the last two years injured, but has been in fine form for Liverpool since returning to the starting eleven. One only needs to look to the goal he scored against Sevilla in the Europa League final to see that the 26-year old still had a load of World Class talent in his locker, but his ongoing injury woes — usually niggling muscle problems — have severely limited his participation for both club and country. Already on the peripheries of the England squad due to a lack of playing time, should his latest trip to the treatment table be prolonged, he could very well get the axe from the provisional team.
“If Sturridge isn’t fit tomorrow then I think you’ll all work out he (Rashford) is going to start the game. I’m happy with that, I’m more than content he can handle the situation,” explained Hodgson. “It doesn’t take a lot of detective work to work that out, with me wanting to rest Vardy and Kane. There was no doubt that my original intention was to choose between Sturridge, Rashford and possibly one other,” added the Three Lions manager, dour as ever, though sounding keen to give Sturridge a chance to prove his fitness. “As far as the 23 is concerned, it’s very simple. I shall leave it as long as I possibly can.”