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Geordie Boyo

Gerrard 50-50!

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Gerrard injury scare for England

 

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Steven Gerrard gave England an injury scare ahead of their World Cup opener against Paraguay by declaring himself only "50-50" to feature in Frankfurt.

 

The midfielder missed Wednesday's session with a back problem and only took part in Thursday's warm-up ahead of England training in Baden-Baden.

 

He said afterwards: "I've got a good chance but, right now, it's 50-50."

 

However, there was more positive news when Wayne Rooney also ran out with the squad following his successful scan.

 

That scan, on the foot he broke against Chelsea in April, cleared him to return to Germany, and he will now concentrate on getting match fit ahead of the knock-out stages.

 

But Gerrard, who was expected to start England's Group B opener, admitted his back problem was still concerning him, just two days before kick-off.

 

"The back has been a bit of a problem over the last couple of days," he said.

 

"I got a knock on my hip and it's just made my back go into spasm a bit.

 

"Overall, I've got a good chance of playing, I've just got to keep working on it. If it keeps improving the way it has done over the past 24 hours I'll be there."

 

Rooney's return, though, was more encouraging, especially when he put in a heavy challenge on defender John Terry during the ball work section of training.

 

Our man in Baden-Baden, chief football writer Phil McNulty, reports: "There's no doubt, Rooney's return has caused a swell of excitement here.

 

"Typically, he was first off the team bus, alongside Gerrard and Peter Crouch, and he looked relaxed as he took part in the light warm-up.

 

"Even more encouraging was that he then, for the first time, joined his team-mates in some ball work and light physical contact - his challenge on Terry brought a few smiles.

 

"All in all it has to be encouraging. Of course, it is too early to tell how far along he is, or isn't, but he looked in good shape, fit and definitely raring to go."

 

For a second day, only the first 15 minutes of the session were open to cameras and the media, but the players looked relaxed on another fine day.

 

The session was England's last in Baden-Baden before Saturday's 1400 BST game at the Waldstadion, with the squad due to travel to Frankfurt on Friday.

 

There they will have one last practise at the stadium in the afternoon, before the finals kick off in earnest for them against Anibal Ruiz's side.

 

Surely Carrick will be his replacement if he is to sit out?

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Maybe without Gerrard, Lampard might have a decent game for once.

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If he plays Hargreaves then Lampard will be back defending on the edge of our box for most of the game...! We’ll certainly be one player down in attack if he does...

 

I think Gerrard will start. He says his hip is improving and by Saturday morning’s training session I would imagine he'll be ready.

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Should be able to beat Paraguay with Carrick instead of Gerrard tbh. I wouldn't risk him if there's a chance of making his back worse.

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