According to the BBC, Steven Gerrard did not take full part in the squad’s training session on Monday due to a groin problem, but Roy Hodgson has dismissed any reports claiming he’ll miss the game against Italy. Gerrard only played 45 minutes of their final warm-up friendly against Honduras on Saturday.
But Hodgson, speaking at his first news conference in Rio de Janeiro, said: “I don’t really understand that one”
“Yesterday we did a training session where the players who played [against Honduras on Saturday] did a warmdown session, and I worked with the nine who didn’t take part.
“My understanding is that the other group did some extra work at the end of the session and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Steven — so I didn’t really understand that story at all.”
“He did very well,” he said. “He was running, admittedly in straight lines. We will step up his training programme in the course of this week.
“There is no guarantee, but the medics are hoping that, by the second game [vs. Uruguay on June 19], he could be fit.”
Hodgson faces a selection dilemma ahead of their game against Italy, but the Engand boss is happy with the quality of players at his disposal.
“It’s good to have selection issues,” the 66-year-old said. “It’s good to have choices and have different people selecting different teams.
“It shows we’ve got enough players that people believe are good enough to play for their country.”
England will begin their World Cup campaign against Italy at the Arena Amazonia late on Saturday evening.