England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that captain Harry Kane will be fine to face the USA in Friday’s World Cup 2022 Group B clash after shaking off an injury scare.
The Tottenham Hotspur man led the line as the Three Lions opened their bid for glory with a thumping 6-2 win over Iran on Monday, albeit without scoring himself.
In the second half of the contest, Kane surged forward and was the victim of a late challenge from Morteza Pouraliganji, landing awkwardly on his ankle in the process.
The 29-year-old lasted 76 minutes of the match before being replaced by Callum Wilson, and concern was immediately raised over a possible issue for Southgate’s captain.
Fears heightened when it was reported that Kane would undergo a scan on the issue, but the tests did not reveal a serious issue, and he was back training on Wednesday.
During an interview with ITV Sport ahead of Friday’s second Group B game with the USA, Southgate revealed that Kane would be back in team training later this week and would be fine to lead the line against Gregg Berhalter‘s men.
“He’s good. He’s worked a little bit more individually today, but he’ll be back in with the team tomorrow and good for the game. We just checked him out just to see. It’s not so much the ankle, it’s more the foot,” Southgate said.
As well as Kane, Harry Maguire was an enforced change from the opening-day thumping of Iran, having sat down on the turf before gingerly walking off amid fears of a suspected concussion.
However, the Manchester United man’s withdrawal was illness-related, and he is expected to be fine to take his place in the backline on matchday two after impressing against Iran.
“He was feeling ill and that was affecting his vision,” Southgate told BBC Sport. “You worry about concussion in that instant, but we were going back through all the footage and there is nothing, so he is in a good area.”
Furthermore, Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker will push for a place in the starting lineup, having been cleared to make the bench against Iran following groin surgery.
As a result, Leicester City playmaker James Maddison could be the only absentee for England in their clash with the USA as he continues to struggle with a knee injury.
Newcastle United striker Wilson also missed a session of team training this week, but his absence is believed to have been a precautionary one as Southgate manages his workload following a hamstring problem from earlier in the season.
England sit at the top of Group B following their victory over Iran on the opening day and will seal a place in the last 16 of the World Cup should they beat the USA at the Al Bayt Stadium.
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