World Cup

England coach downplays Gerrard fitness concerns

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By Agencies

Posted  Wednesday, June 11  2014 at  01:00
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The England midfielder left training early on Monday but the manager insists he has no fitness problems, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is stepping up his recovery from injury

England manager Roy Hodgson insists Steven Gerrard has no injury issues despite the midfielder leaving midway through an open training session on Monday.

Gerrard pulled out of the session shortly after completing a couple of light jogs away from the squad, throwing his participation in England's opening game with Italy into doubt.

But Hodgson says “there is nothing wrong” with the Liverpool midfielder ahead of Saturday's clash.

"There is nothing wrong with Steven Gerrard," he told reporters.

"I don't really understand [claims Gerrard is unfit].

"My understanding is yesterday he did some extra work. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him."

Meanwhile, Hodgson is hopeful Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit to face Uruguay in England's second match in Group D, with the Arsenal midfielder stepping up his recovery after suffering a knee injury in a pre-World Cup friendly against Ecuador.

“Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did well yesterday and we will be stepping up his training programme during the course of the week,” he added.

“The medics are hopeful he will be fit by the second game [against Uruguay].”