Daniel Sturridge will be available for England's friendly against Germany on Tuesday despite picking up an injury in training.
The FA's official Twitter account posted the words of manager Roy Hodgson, who confirmed that the player's injury is improving:
Hodgson: Sturridge is fine, he couldn't play last week, but injury is improving, I just wanted to give Rickie Lambert a chance in training— The FA (@FA) November 18, 2013
There were initial concerns after the Telegraph's Henry Winter and Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports News both noted that the Liverpool forward had to pull out of Monday's practice session early:
Daniel Sturridge stopped #eng training early. Walked to pavillion with Gary Neville. Had talked yesterday over thigh niggle 'lingering'— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) November 18, 2013
Daniel Sturridge is an injury doubt for England's clash with Germany after limping out of training this morning. #LFC— Pete O'Rourke (@SkySportsPeteO) November 18, 2013
The 24-year-old's last England appearance came in the 2-0 World Cup qualifier win over Poland in mid-October, a series of injury setbacks having prevented Sturridge from coming back in time for Friday's loss to Chile.
As Tony Barrett of the Times states, Sturridge did join up with the rest of Hodgson's squad already carrying a niggle, but Three Lions fans will be happy to hear that the striker can make his return to the setup against Joachim Low's side:
Sturridge goes on England duty injured, trains injured & comes off early yet still get accused of putting club before country. Mad.— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) November 18, 2013
The Guardian's Daniel Taylor also noted that it was those training in bibs at Colney that will form Hodgson's starting XI. Hodgson said as much in his press conference, meaning the hosts will line up as follows:
Hodgson indicating this is likely team: Hart; Walker, Smalling, Jagielka, Cole; Townsend, Gerrard, Cleverley, Lallana; Rooney; Sturridge— Daniel Taylor (@DTguardian) November 18, 2013
The England boss has almost completely changed his lineup for the German encounter, with Adam Lallana and Wayne Rooney the only players retained from last week's starting XI against Chile.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jagielka come in to form a new-look centre-back partnership, while Kyle Walker and Ashley Cole look set to replace Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines at right-back and left-back, respectively.
Rooney will be expected to slip into a supporting role so that Sturridge can roam up top while Lallana and Townsend will provide support from the wings in what looks to be a 4-4-1-1 line-up.
Though his side were bested by Chile last Friday, it shows that Hodgson has faith in his team shape and isn't prepared for any knee-jerk reactions just yet. He was always expected to adjust the personnel but will expect Tuesday's lineup to produce a far more organised display.
Sturridge is currently tied with Sergio Aguero and teammate Luis Suarez as the Premier League's leading scorers, each having notched eight goals in the first 11 games of the campaign.
As such, England will be hoping that the former Manchester City and Chelsea youngster can translate his fine scoring form to the national frame in what will be just his ninth cap for his country.
Germany will be a stern test of the player's mettle, however, with Wembley hoping not to see any further injury scares.