With just days to go before England get their World Cup tournament underway, Gareth Southgate is dealing with an ongoing injury concern, it’s been reported.
Russia and Saudi Arabia get things started on Thursday, but the Three Lions aren’t in action until Monday when they face Tunisia in their Group G opener.
Southgate would undoubtedly have been hoping that he would avoid any injury headaches this summer while in Russia, but it hasn’t panned out that way as after The Guardian noted earlier this week that Marcus Rashford arrived with a knee complaint after taking a knock in training, it seems to be continuing to bother him.
As per BBC Sport reporter Phil McNulty in his tweet below, the Manchester United forward was absent from training again on Thursday which raises alarm bells as to whether he’ll be fit for Tunisia, and perhaps puts in doubt his participation in the group stage entirely as there is a little rest between games.
Marcus Rashford missing from England training again today.
— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) June 14, 2018
England face Panama next Sunday before taking on Belgium four days later on June 28. In turn, while it was assumed that it was a minor knock, it remains to be seen if the injury heals before the Panama encounter to give Southgate another important option in attack.
Along with Raheem Sterling, Rashford could cause real problems for opposition defences this summer with his pace, movement and eye for goal, and so despite not always impressing or getting a prominent role at United this past season, his fitness could be crucial for England this summer in their bid to go far in the World Cup.