Soccer

England get major Kane fitness boost as FA ‘optimistic’ over USA clash

England train after thumping Iran win

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Harry Kane is set to hand England a major fitness boost ahead of their clash against the USA on Friday after undergoing a scan on his ankle. The striker was rated as a doubt for the clash after picking up a knock during the 6-2 win over Iran on Monday, but it has emerged the captain’s injury is not regarded as a concern and he is set to be fit enough to play on Friday evening in Qatar.

Concerns were raised over the Tottenham striker’s fitness in time for Friday’s showdown with the United States after he went for a scan on Tuesday to discover the extent of his ankle issue, which forced him to be substituted late on against Iran.

However, it is understood that the scan was more of a precaution than an absolute necessity as England were keen to explore if there was any lasting damage. And Kane, whose worst injury problems have largely centred around ankle issues, is confident he will be fit.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford added that Kane was “fine” in training and revealed he had been out on the grass, which will surely come as a huge relief to Gareth Southgate.

Southgate was facing the prospect of having only fit natural striker available for selection for the clash after Callum Wilson did not take part in training on Tuesday.

That would have left Marcus Rashford as the only recognised No 9 available, although Raheem Sterling has played through the middle for Chelsea this season.

But having Kane in the side will no doubt prove to a massive morale boost ahead of their second group fixture. The 28-year-old surprisingly did not get his name on the scoresheet in the emphatic victory over Iran but the Three Lions talisman was a creative influence throughout in a deep-lying forward role.

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