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Jones faces World Cup fitness race

ESPN staff
May 8, 2014 « Van Gaal: I'll make history at United | Test Wayin World Cup »
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Phil Jones has handed Roy Hodgson another England headache with the Manchester United defender facing a race against time to be fit for the World Cup.

A scan yesterday revealed ligament damage to Jones' left shoulder after Jones was taken off in the first half of United's 3-1 win over Hull at Old Trafford on Tuesday and taken straight to hospital.

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An initial X-ray proved inconclusive with Jones sent to a specialist on Wednesday, though he is not believed to have suffered a fracture or dislocation.

With Hodgson due to submit his final 23-man squad to FIFA following the May 30 friendly against Peru at Wembley, he will be forced to weigh up whether to gamble on Jones with the defender likely out for several weeks.

The England manager, who will name his provisonal squad on Monday, had also insisted recently that he wouldn't consider any players who were unable to train during the warm-up camp in Portugal which begins in 10 days.

"The important thing is not to be taking players who are definitely unfit when we leave and [who] definitely cannot do anything until we are well into our training camp," Hodgson said.

"That is another matter. It is a person-to-person judgment as well. If Steven Gerrard [the Liverpool midfielder and England captain] gets injured in the next game and they tell me he is going to be out for three weeks but in a month's time he is going to be fit I would still take him. I am not prepared to have a 100 percent rule [that] either you play in the last game of the season and are 100 percent or you don't go."

Hodgson has already lost several attacking players to injury, with Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez, Tottenham winger Andros Townsend and Arsenal's Theo Walcott all ruled.

There are concerns at the back too with Spurs right-back Kyle Walker a doubt with a pelvic injury, while Phil Jagielka has only just returned for Everton after more than two months out.

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