Home European football England England defender plays down injury fears before opener

England defender plays down injury fears before opener

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England defender Chris Smalliing has insisted that he is ready to go ahead of the Three Lions’ Euro 2016 opener against Russia on Saturday.

Manchester United star Smalling departed yesterday’s training session, with an ice pack on his left knee.

But he says that he is ready to take his place alongside either Gary Cahill or John Stones this weekend in Marseille’s Stade Velodrome.

“I often ice different parts of my body or jump in an ice bath. It’s just normal recovery process.” Smalling said.

England’s main concern injury-wise ahead of the tournament remains Ryan Bertrand, still recovering from a knock. He trained separately from the rest of the squad.

Smalling, who scored the only goal in England’s win over Portugal, has also suffered the ignominy of having to look after a cuddly toy.

After a team-bonding exercise, the squad arrived at their base in Chantilly, Smalling has been carrying around a stuffed lion, which he managed to sneak into group photographs.

The Three Lions will become four, at least through the group stages, but they have not yet decided on a name for the unofficial mascot. There have been reports that they may open that decision up to young England fans.

 

By Steve Osborne                  @BlizzardSteve75

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