Premier League

England’s James Maddison on pre-World Cup injury scare: “It should be fine”

James Maddison celebrates scoring for Leicester.

James Maddison insisted he should be fit to join up with the England squad for the World Cup despite an injury scare in Leicester’s 2-0 win at West Ham.

The midfielder, called into Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Thursday, went down holding his leg in the 23rd minute.

After receiving treatment on the pitch the midfielder, who had opened the scoring with his seventh goal of the season, gingerly left the field.

With England’s first match just nine days away, even a relatively minor injury could have meant Maddison missing out in Qatar.

But the 25-year-old played down any fears as he left the London Stadium, saying: “It should be fine. Yeah, I think so.”

Manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed Maddison came off as a precaution.

“I’ve just spoken to the doctor, he said he’s fine,” said Rodgers. “He just felt a little knock on the knee. We didn’t want to risk it for him or the team.”

Just 15 minutes earlier Maddison had illustrated exactly why Southgate turned to him.

His clever flick started the move in midfield, and when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s low cross was helped on by Patson Daka, the 25-year-arrived at the far post to sweep the ball home and put Leicester on the way to victory.

Another England midfielder, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, was left out of his side’s 3-1 home win against Southampton due to personal reasons and England boss Gareth Southgate will be hoping for good news on the duo this week.

Southgate is already without key defenders Reece James and Ben Chilwell, while striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is waiting to learn the full extent of a hamstring injury sustained in last weekend’s defeat to Leicester.

Manchester City pair Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips, both integral to the Three Lions’ success at Euro 2020, were both included in Southgate’s squad despite doubts over their respective recoveries from groin and shoulder surgeries.

Defender Walker has been sidelined since October, while midfielder Phillips has made only one late substitute’s appearance for City in the Premier League this season following his summer transfer from Leeds.

James recently confirmed he will miss the World Cup due to a knee injury sustained against AC Milan in the Champions League in October, while Chelsea team-mate Chilwell has been ruled out with a torn hamstring.

Read more: James Maddison and England the latest to suffer from FIFA’s World Cup clusterf*ck?

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