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Gareth Southgate welcomes Henderson's return but Maguire doubts remain

Jordan Henderson is making his first game since February when England played against Romania in their last friendly match for Euro 960 on Sunday, with Gareth Southgate suggesting that Harry Maguire "should be fit" for a place in the tournament.

Henderson has not played since Liverpool's loss to Everton three and a half months ago and a groin injury, but he hopes he may be eligible for the role when England opens their campaign against Croatia next Sunday. if he came out unharmed, he was lifted. Henderson was not ready to face Austria on Wednesday, but Southgate is enthusiastic about getting any chance to play a major role next month.

“The plan, as on Wednesday, is to have him in the game,” Southgate said. “The last two or three days of training have been much more positive for him. I think having a scan that showed no problems has helped her to advance her confidence, rehabilitation and education. I think she's noticeably happier on her own, and that's a positive sign.”

Maguire has not had a chance to play against Romania in Middlesbrough and did not want to go into details about his Southgate return. from ankle ligament injury. He said the central defender would be eligible to play during the tournament, although his chances of playing before the knockout stage seemed uncertain.

“In case of any injury, it is impossible to predict 45,” he said. . “Our medical team is particularly pleased with its progress over the past few days. So we know there's always that risk, but all the guidance is that he has to be available and that's about when he can re-train with the group and how fast we can move him forward.

“But of course there is a risk with any injury that you should only have a minor setback – and two or three days here or there really, really impact those timelines. I'm very realistic about it, and if we didn't have it, we chose a squad on the basis that we had players to come in. If he's fit and available, that's a bonus for us. ”

harry maguire gets treatment for his ankle injury as gareth southgate watches on.
Harry Maguire is undergoing treatment for an ankle injury while watching Gareth Southgate. Photo: Eddie Keogh/FA/Getty Images

Maguire joins Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka in what the Football Association calls "a personal training program for managing load indoors." No worries for the second couple, but Kane will be resting for the Romania game.

“He was watching an individual program,” Southgate said. “We have three or four players in the group who might miss out on the elements of training on different days, but it's okay. I don't think we're going to include it. The plan is not to involve him in the game, so he let him do some gym-based work.”

Southgate was pleased with three of the Champions League finalists. four of them won last Saturday with Chelsea and four were on the losing side for Manchester City as they joined the squad this week.

"They're perfect," he said. “All the players have recovered immediately, there doesn't seem to be any bulge. The group is socially together, you can see it for dinner, they enjoyed coming back with their UK colleagues. If you didn't know that those games were being played and you weren't specifically looking for something then I really don't think you would know any different."

Sunday match could come It's too early for the newcomers but Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford, both playing in the Europa League final for Manchester United and in the Austrian fixture, could have faced the Romanians. Trent Alexander-Arnold will play no further role this summer after he injured his hip in the match against Austria; Southgate expressed regret but said the right-back should be available for the start of next season.

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“It is very sad for any player to go on the eve of a big tournament, be on the roster and then lose due to injury,” he said. “You know how rare these opportunities are. Although he is a young player who will have those opportunities again, this is a particularly difficult moment for him.

“The only thing I'm happy with is that right after the game, I didn't like the look of the Injury, [was that] it looks like it should be good for at least pre-season and next season. So that's a very small positive for the situation.”

While England are a little over a month away from their first European Championship title, Southgate doesn't let that thought dominate the conversation. staff.

"Of course we always have a long-term goal, but we're not going to take it any further than it is," he said. “We have to qualify from the group, that will be our first goal and focus and then we will move on to the next challenge.

“Whenever you're trying to accomplish something very difficult, you have to break it down into the right pieces to make sure you're focused, and by focusing too much on the long-term you don't miss out on anything in the short-term.”

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