Harry Kane fit for England’s World Cup clash with USA after injury scare

Harry Kane fit for England’s World Cup clash with USA after injury scare

Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Harry Kane is fit to face the USA tomorrow night and says he was never worried about the England captain’s participation.

Kane’s fitness sparked concern after he was sent for a scan on his ankle following a heavy challenge in England’s opening World Cup game, the 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

The Tottenham striker played on for 15 minutes before being replaced by Callum Wilson, and left the stadium with strapping on his ankle and walking gingerly.

Kane has a history of ankle problems, having suffered five separate ligament injuries since 2016, but he has not had a significant spell on the sidelines since January 2020 — crediting his fitness with working with a new personal physio.

Southgate revealed Kane worked individually yesterday, but he was due to return to group training at England’s base here in Al Wakrah, south of Doha, this afternoon.

“He is good, he has worked a little bit more individually on Wednesday but he will back in with the team on Thursday and good for the game,” the England manager said.

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

“We just checked him out, just to see. I think sometimes when you are treating things it is important to know exactly what is there and that was all good.

“It is not so much the ankle. It is more the foot. It was a poor challenge really but it is one that fortunately we have got away with reasonably lightly.”

Asked by ITV if he was holding his breath, Southgate added: “No, I was when he went down on the pitch! But once he carried on playing everything has been good.”

James Maddison was set to be the only England absentee from training today as he continued to nurse a knee problem, but Kyle Walker has declared himself fit to return against the USA at Al Bayt Stadium.

The Manchester City full-back did not feature against Iran after admitting the game came too soon in his recovery from groin surgery at the start of last month, but asked if he was fit, Walker said: “Yes. Does the manager agree? I don’t know.

“Listen, I’m fit, I’ve been training now for two weeks and I feel sharp. Can you replicate what you do on a match day? Of course I can’t. Me and the physio, me and the fitness coach cannot have an 11 v 11 against each other. We can do as much as we can do before I have to go into training and kick a ball with the lads.

England Training Session for FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar | 23rd November 2022

(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

“So I feel good. Obviously, the manager has a tough decision to make in picking 11 players from 26.”

Walker was widely considered unlikely to make Southgate’s World Cup squad after the surgery but says his rapid return to fitness was in part motivated by proving his doubters wrong.

“That’s just been my life — everyone in some way, shape or form, writes me off or says certain things,” he said.

“When I signed for Man City, it was ‘can’t believe they paid that much for a full-back’. X, Y and Z. It gives me that motivation to actually go and prove people wrong. Again, I have to think first and foremost of myself. And to make sure my body is fine and can cope with that and, secondly, it is proving people wrong, which I love to do.”

Harry Maguire is also expected to be fine after being forced off against Iran because he was feeling ill. The USA, who drew 1-1 with Wales in their opening game, are set to delay their Thanksgiving celebrations until after the game.

USA defender and ex-Tottenham player Cameron Carter-Vickers, who was raised in London, said: “For me, it is not really a big deal. But for people whose families are here, it is. On Saturday we are having a nice little Thanksgiving gathering.”