• Euro 2012

Welbeck nearing full match fitness for England

ESPN staff
June 5, 2012 « Sonnen will stay to fight Bisping & Co. after facing Silva | Chartbeat test »
Danny Welbeck scored England's winner against Belgium © PA Photos
Enlarge

England striker Danny Welbeck hopes his injury worries are behind him as England prepare to jet out to Poland for Euro 2012.

Welbeck, who netted his first international goal as England beat Belgium 1-0 at Wembley on Saturday, originally linked up with the squad carrying an ankle knock but appears to have shaken it off.

The injury list has already decimated Roy Hodgson's squad, with Gary Cahill the latest to drop out with a broken jaw, so the loss of one of the three strikers who will be available for the opening two group games would have been a major blow.

The 23 players regrouped on Tuesday after being allowed to enjoy the Queen's Jubilee celebrations with their families, and all were able to take part either in training or recovery work. There will be another session on Wednesday morning before England board the plane to their base in Poland.

Welbeck, who is now in pole position to start against France on Monday, said: "I was delighted to get my first goal for England. It was something I'd been looking forward to since I was a little kid. I'm now looking to build on that and get more goals under my belt and more caps as well but I'm just glad that I'm fit.

"At times I was thinking 'maybe I won't be able to make it' but I'm glad the manager [Roy Hodgson] kept faith in me and I was always ready to go once I was called upon. When I suffered the injury against [Manchester] City, I did initially fear the worst. That night I went home and all sorts of emotions went through my head.

"I didn't know what was happening until I had the scan in the morning. At that point, it was very downheartening but luckily I've come back from that and it wasn't as bad as I first feared.

"The match fitness is definitely coming along. I've had a few training sessions under my belt and had 55 minutes against Belgium. It's coming along and I'm just really looking forward to building on that before the first game next week."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Close