England are optimistic about Harry Kane’s availability for Friday night’s game against the United States after taking part in training on Wednesday. The captain raised the alarm when he had a CT scan on his right ankle after picking up the injury in Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran.
Kane was caught by a poor tackle from Morteza Pouraliganji in the 48th minute, although he played until the 75th minute. There is now confidence within the camp that, despite the precautionary scan, Kane will be able to play.
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford said: “I think Harry is fine, probably just a little bad. I’m sure he’s fine. He was on the grass with us today, which is good. He is our captain.
Kane’s ankle condition has been part of his story, particularly between 2016 and 2019 when he suffered five layoffs with ligament damage – the first three on the right foot, the second on the left.
Since April 2019, he has suffered much less serious ankle problems twice, when sprains briefly ruled him out in February 2021 and then in April of the same year.
Kane credited the work he has done more recently with a private physiotherapist to make him more resilient.
James Maddison, who is struggling with a knee injury, again did not train with the team on Wednesday, making him a doubt for the game against the United States.
Pickford urged England, who have kept just two clean sheets in 2022, to defend with more focus against the United States. He made no secret of his anger when Iran overtook him by two goals behind and echoed Southgate’s warning about the importance of maintaining high levels of concentration.
“As a whole team we want to keep the sheets clean because we know how important they are in tournament football,” Pickford said.
“We were leading 4-0 and really conceded an easy goal. They received a slightly indifferent penalty. You will never be happy to concede a goal and we will lean on USA and hopefully get a clean sheet.