Liverpool’s Adam Lallana ruled out of England squad with groin injury

Dominic Fifield

England’s preparations for the start of their Nations League campaign have been further hampered after Adam Lallana followed Raheem Sterling and withdrew from the squad after suffering a groin injury in training.

The Liverpool midfielder, whose season was wrecked by thigh problems last time round, was unable to complete the drills as Gareth Southgate oversaw his first training session since the World Cup. The 30-year-old retired to the main building at England’s base to be assessed, with the FA confirming he will miss the game against Spain on Saturday and next Tuesday’s friendly with Switzerland, and will instead return to Melwood for treatment.

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The 30-year-old had been a key member of the England team who secured qualification for the World Cup, scoring the only goal of Sam Allardyce’s brief time in charge, but was unable to make any impact last season as a serious thigh problem and a hamstring injury restricted him to three club starts in all competitions.

That lack of game time effectively cost Lallana his involvement at the tournament in Russia – he was placed on stand-by – but he had hoped to regain his place in the lineup in the next week. Lallana, who has made one substitute’s appearance this season, was an option to start in an attacking brief given Sterling has already withdrawn with a back problem.

While Southgate considers calling up an outfield player, the uncapped Fulham goalkeeper, Marcus Bettinelli, has been added to the group, though it is understood it is not owing to an injury to Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland or Alex McCarthy.

England completed the session at St George’s Park with Dominic Solanke, the Liverpool forward capped against Brazil last November, promoted from the under-21s to make up the numbers. A quintet of players – Kieran Trippier, Luke Shaw, James Tarkowski, Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane, who had played for their clubs on Sunday, underwent a lighter session.

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