Marcus Rashford trained for the first time since England landed in Russia for the World Cup, as all 23 squad members took part on Friday morning.
Rashford was absent from the first two days at the Three Lions’ Spartak Zelenogorsk base due to a minor knee complaint, but has now rejoined the group.
The 20-year-old Manchester United forward turned in a man-of-the-match performance in England’s final warm-up friendly against Costa Rica but looks set for a place on the bench in Monday’s Group G opener against Tunisia in Volgograd.
A number of national newspapers claimed on Thursday evening that Southgate will opt to put Raheem Sterling in support of lead striker Harry Kane, in a side containing nine World Cup debutants.
That would mean starts for the likes of Harry Maguire over Gary Cahill, Jordan
Henderson ahead of Eric Dier and Ashley Young at left wing-back.
Regardless of who Southgate picks, the return to training of Rashford –
revealed on The ‘Lions’ Den’ show on England’s YouTube channel – is good news for the manager, who has so far avoided any other injury scares and kept the initial 23-man squad he named in mid-May intact.
Southgate revealed Rashford’s “slight knock” upon landing in Russia and a
number of team-mates attempted to allay concerns, as did the forward himself.
“Thanks for the messages I’ve been getting,” Rashford posted on Twitter.
“Picked up a slight niggle but nothing to worry about #ThreeLions”.