England face an anxious wait on Harry Kane’s fitness after deciding that the striker needs a scan on an ankle before their game against the USA on Friday.
Kane received treatment on his right ankle after being caught by a heavy tackle from Morteza Pouraliganji in the 48th minute of England’s 6-2 victory against Iran on Monday. The 29-year-old forward, who has a long history of ankle issues, managed to last until the 75th minute before being replaced by Callum Wilson and Gareth Southgate said his captain appeared to be fine after the game.
However Kane, who is crucial to England’s hopes of winning the World Cup, was seen walking with a slight limp and wearing strapping on his right ankle after the game. Southgate will now be hoping further tests indicate the Tottenham forward, who created two goals against Iran, sustained no serious damage.
England will be desperate to have Kane available when they face the USA in their second game in Group B. Encouragingly he was able to take part in a recovery session on Tuesday. But the prospect of losing his main striker for any period of time is the nightmare scenario for Southgate. The worry is that Kane has had several long-term absences with ankle injuries in the past.
It is hoped that England ordered the scan as a precautionary measure. The fact Kane did not immediately go off against Iran is seen as a positive sign. He also revealed in September that he has been working with a new physio to lessen his chances of being injured.
Kane has largely managed to steer clear of serious injury since tearing a hamstring in January 2020. If Kane is absent against the USA then Wilson will compete with Marcus Rashford for a starting spot up front. Rashford came off the bench to score against Iran but played in a wide role.
Harry Maguire is expected to be available against the USA, but James Maddison’s knee problem kept him out of training again on Tuesday. Maguire was substituted against Iran after complaining of feeling unwell during the second half. But the defender took part in the recovery session on Tuesday for the starting 11 against Iran.
The rest of the squad trained outside at the team’s training complex. But Maddison, who was not available against Iran, was absent once again. The Leicester midfielder has been nursing a knee problem and is a doubt to be involved on Friday.
England had their two reserve goalkeepers and 13 outfield players training outside. Wilson, who came off the bench against Iran, took part in the indoor session. However there are no injury concerns over the Newcastle striker.