England have picked a brilliant start to their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign, thrashing Iran 6-2 in Group B opener. Dortmund starlet Jude Bellingham opened the scoring for the Three Lions as Bukayo Saka [2 goals], Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford added another 5 on the scoreline. One would have already bet looking at the scoreline that England’s captain and star striker Harry Kane too would have been among the goalscorers, but that was not the case.
The Tottenham striker rather found himself in the company of those who have picked knocks or are still struggling to regain full fitness. Kane was substituted in the 76th minute by England boss Gareth Southgate when his side was actually playing scintillating football. However, it was a worrying sign since the 29-year-old limped-off the pitch as Callum Wilson replaced him. The problem was looking with the ankle for Kane, which now has been confirmed as he underwent scans on it.
Harry Kane might have just added to the injury woes of England
Although Harry Kane was not among the goals in the 6-2 thumping, the striker was still catalyst to England’s win. He brought his playmaking powers to the game, providing 2 assists and creating 2 chances. However, there might just be a worry as well since the prolific forward was unable to get a single shot away throughout the 76 minutes he was on the pitch. But for Southgate, that stat must have been unwavering as he knows Kane’s ability to produce in front of the goal.
And just when even Kane would have thought it was his time to put the ball in the back of the net, a rough tackle from Iran center-back Morteza brought the striker down. Kane was seen holding his ankle, which would have immediately sent the England boss into a panic mode, since the Tottenham no.10 has a poor history of ankle ligament injuries. The England captain has suffered serious ankle injuries during both his 2018 and 2019 Premier League campaign with Tottenham.
Though this one doesn’t seem a serious one, Harry Kane has underwent ankle scans at a hospital in the capital city of the host nation, Doha. Speaking about his captain’s knock, Gareth Southgate told the press:
“I think Harry [Kane] is fine. It looked a bad tackle but he carried on in the game. We took him off really because we felt it was a moment we could do that. It was good to be able to refresh the forward line not only to get the players on, but also to get the players on because there were some very close calls in who starts in those positions. We have some fabulous talent and we had players that, if we needed them to change the game, they could do it.”
However, Kane’s injury scare has only added to the tension of his boss. England are already without a key-players who are sidelined for a long time and missed the tournament, and there are still some in the squad who need a full recovery. Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and Kalvin Philipps had returned just days before the World Cup from their injuries, and are still not fit to start a game in Qatar. James Maddison was looking in the form of his life, before picking a minor knock in Leicester’s last game before the World Cup break. Though he confirmed it was not a serious one and has travelled with the squad as well, Maddison too is yet to receive a green light from the medical team to feature for the Three Lions.
Moreover, center-back Harry Maguire too was taken-off in the 70th minute, and is being assessed for illness. Southgate will now has fingers crossed on the injury news of both his ‘Harrys’ as England’s real challenge at the tournament starts now. The contenders now face the USA in their next game on November 26, and neighbours Wales on November 30. Early reports suggest that it is a race against time for Harry Kane to be fully fit for featuring against the USA.