KRAKOW: Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has rejoined the England squad at the Euro 2012 finals after returning home last Thursday following the death of his father.
Defoe trained with the rest of the squad on Friday to help ease injury concerns for manager Roy Hodgson ahead of Monday’s game against France in Donetsk. Defender Joleon Lescott is nursing groin and knee problems while Chelsea’s John Terry and Ashley Cole are also recovering from minor injuries.
There was also brief concern over James Milner, who has been heavily tipped to start on Monday, after the City midfielder sat out England’s visit to Auschwitz and the Oskar Schindler factory on Friday. But the Football Association soon confirmed the 26-year-old was advised to stay off his feet for the afternoon after suffering blisters and were confident he would train on Saturday.
Milner was one of nine players not to take part in full training on Friday morning, eight of whom are expected to play on Monday.
Ashley Young is expected to fill the gap created by the suspension of Wayne Rooney with Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck are vying for the other forward berth. Carroll was paired with Young during Friday’s public training session.
However, the Liverpool forward was also part of the FA visit to Auschwitz which – fitness permitting – seemed to be made up of players who were not going to start on Monday. Welbeck did make a big impression against Belgium on Saturday, when he scored the only goal.
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