England have landed a major boost as Jordan Henderson and Jamie Vardy returned to training in Repino on Monday mornin,g ahead of their semi-final clash with Croatia on Wednesday for a place in Sunday’s final.
As the squad of 23 players put in their final preparations before they make their way to Moscow for the biggest night in English football for over 20-years, Gareth Southgate and his team emerged all smiles.
There had been concerns regarding Henderson, who has been instrumental both on and off the pitch in Russia, after the Liverpool midfielder suffered a hamstring problem in the 2-0 victory over Sweden.
But Henderson was optimistic: “I was just a little bit tight before the game, so towards the last 20 minutes I just overstretched and I felt it a little bit. But it doesn’t feel too bad, so hopefully it’ll be fine,” he said.
Vardy’s availability was also a concern after the striker suffered a groin injury in the last 16 clash with Colombia and did not feature against Sweden. However when asked how his groin was, the Leicester City man said: “Everything is fine.”
Both players along with other fatigued stars will continue to be assessed until Wednesday
It was a relaxed session for Southgate as he admitted after the win over Sweden there was a natural “accumulation of fatigue” over the course of a tournament.
“That’s why we took the decision we did against Belgium (to rest players) more than anything,” he said.
Now just one game away from their first World Cup final since 1966 and with no injury or suspension dilemmas ahead of the game, Southgate was no doubt pondering over who he will be giving a start for England, who he will take on board to help rewrite England’s history in the World Cup.