England midfielder Steven Gerrard has dismissed concerns over his fitness ahead of Tuesday night's international fixture with Germany, despite having undergone injections on a troublesome back injury.
Per the Mirror's John Cross, the Liverpool and England captain downplayed concerns over his fitness ahead of the clash and next summer's World Cup tournament.
Gerrard is quoted as saying:
I think I proved in the last tournament I was fit and available for all the games in a short space of time, so I’m assuming it will be the same in Brazil.
I wouldn’t have the injections if I didn’t feel any benefit. The reason I went in for these recently is because I’ve felt so good physically over the last couple of years.
I’m alright. I’ve been carrying a niggle for the past two or three games around the hip area, so I’ve had some treatment in my back area – as I have done for many years to stay on top of it. It’s a lot better than it was a week or 10 days ago.
The encounter with Joachim Low's Germany side at Wembley will give England a clear indication of where they stand compared to one of the world's very best sides at present.
While Roy Hodgson boasts a strong record as England manager, including a win and a draw over Confederations Cup champions Brazil, performances have not always matched the results.
That said, there have been signs in recent months that England are beginning to settle upon a game plan and, as such, there have been positive displays to comment on—particularly in victory over Poland in the side's final World Cup qualification fixture.
Gerrard, as one of the players most familiar with Hodgson's way of working, will be key to the team's hopes of a bright showing in Brazil next summer, and all precautions will be taken to ensure his availability for the tournament.
England team to face Germany on Tuesday: Hart, Walker, Smalling, Jagielka, Cole, Gerrard, Cleverley, Townsend, Rooney, Lallana, Sturridge.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 18, 2013
With Michael Carrick injured for the fixture against Germany, Gerrard will once more find himself with a different central midfield partner on Tuesday night. However, he will continue to be one of the most consistent performers in Hodgson's team—regardless of who he is paired with.
Still, he will need to be somewhere approaching full fitness against Germany, though, with the likes of Toni Kroos among the world's best in midfield areas. Gerrard and England need such a test ahead of next summer's real tests.
There will be some worries in Liverpool ahead of the game, though, with Gerrard an important figure in Brendan Rodgers' side as they push for Champions League qualification.
With Daniel Sturridge also carrying a knock this week, per the Press Association via The Guardian, the Reds will hope to see their two stars emerge unscathed from the friendly fixture.