herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

INJURY BLOW FOR 'POOL'S STURRIDGE

Striker a doubt for Switzerland tie after training knock

Daniel Sturridge's place in the England squad to face Switzerland is in doubt after he picked up a knock in training.

Roy Hodgson's men begin their European Championship qualifying campaign in Basle on Monday against the side ranked ninth in the world.

It is a match they may well be without Sturridge for after the striker sustained a knock in training at St George's Park on Friday morning.

A post via the team's official Twitter account, @england, said: "Daniel Sturridge felt an injury in training this morning and will go for a scan this afternoon. He will then be assessed by England medics."

Hodgson will be sweating on the outcome of the scan, especially given the England boss is already having to take an inexperienced squad to St Jakob-Park.

The international retirements of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have been compounded by a lengthy injury list, which includes Theo Walcott, Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley, Michael Carrick, Jay Rodriguez and Andy Carroll.

Defensive options Kyle Walker, Glen Johnson, Luke Shaw, Jon Flanagan, Chris Smalling and Kieran Gibbs are also unavailable, while West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster and uncapped Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback have withdrawn from the 22-man squad in recent days.

There was another worrying sign as Gary Cahill sat out training on Friday with an ankle complaint, although he is expected to return on Saturday before playing in the match against Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere was unable to provide an update on Sturridge, but he stressed the Liverpool striker's quality and how much he hopes he can line up with them in Basle.

"He shows up week-in week-out for Liverpool and he's been showing that for England over the past year or so as well," Wilshere said.

"I just saw him walk off. I think he's gone for a scan and hopefully he'll be fine."

In the absence of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard it was up to the Arsenal midfielder and Jordan Henderson to anchor England's engine room against Norway. That is a role many have envisaged Wilshere fulfilling for years, before injuries hampered his progress.

Now that those stalwarts have moved on, the 22-year-old is excited about building a new partnership with Henderson at the highest level after playing with him in lower age groups.

"I played with Jordan for a few years, you know at under-21 level. I've always worked well with him. He's a great player. He's so fit, you've seen that for Liverpool. He can win challenges, he gets up to the ball and on the ball he's got a lot of quality," he added.

"Obviously it's disappointing when Steven and Frank retired, they were massive players for England, great ambassadors and that is the level me and Jordan have got to get to."

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