• Euro 2012

Walcott makes early start in recovery bid

ESPN staff
June 18, 2012 « Westwood moving to US in pursuit of multiple majors | Chartbeat test »

Theo Walcott arrived at England's training ground early on Monday morning as he continued his attempts to be fit for Tuesday's crucial final group game against co-hosts Ukraine.

The Arsenal forward travelled by car to the Hutnik Stadium in Krakow, with the rest of the squad following on the team bus.

Walcott, who helped transform the game against Sweden after coming on as a substitute with England 2-1 down, pulled out of training on Sunday after complaining of tightness in his hamstring.

England coach Roy Hodgson, speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, admitted that Walcott - tipped to start against Ukraine after his Sweden heroics - was a doubt.

"Unfortunately, he had a slight setback in training," Hodgson said. "He felt the hamstring that kept him out for so long at the end of the season, and which we were slightly concerned about when he came to us.

"We have been lucky nothing has occurred with that, but in a little training session today we had to take the precaution of taking him from the field because he felt some tightness there.

"Whether he is a real contender for a starting position will depend upon what the medical people can tell me and how much guarantee they can give me that, if I do start him, he won't be leaving the field after five minutes, forcing us to have 13 men rather than the 14 I would rather count on."

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