World Cup: England boss Roy Hodgson confident Andy Carroll will be fully fit
Last Updated: October 6, 2012 10:19am
Roy Hodgson: England boss pleased to have striker Andy Carroll back in his squad
England boss Roy Hodgson insists he has no worries about the fitness of striker Andy Carroll after he was recalled to the squad.
The Liverpool striker, on loan at West Ham, played a big part at the European Championship this summer under Hodgson - but he missed the World Cup qualifiers with Moldova and Ukraine due to a hamstring injury.
Carroll only returned to action this week, playing the last 23 minutes of the Hammers' win at Queens Park Rangers - but that has been enough to convince Hodgson to bring him back.
"Andy played 23 minutes including injury-time on Monday and I am expecting him to play more minutes on Saturday against Arsenal, either from the start or coming on," said Hodgson.
"He has another week after that so I don't think there is any reason for me to question his fitness."
Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster is included for the first time, while Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs, Stoke's Ryan Shawcross and Tottenham's Aaron Lennon were recalled, plus Hodgson confirmed Carl Jenkinson is being looked at very closely.
"Gibbs and Jenkinson have done exceptionally well for Arsenal," said Hodgson.
"Jenkinson was a player we thought a lot about but decided we didn't have quite that many places. He is certainly a player we will think about for the future.
"Gibbs, Lennon and Shawcross are players we need to see at closer hand. I have seen them from the stands but it will be nice to have a chance to work with them and see how they could contribute to the team we are trying to build up.
"There has to be some sort of rejuvenation process with the England team when a new coach comes in. I am very much aware that Brazil is two years down the road if we are good enough to get there and in two years maybe these lads will be real stars in the Premier League."
Hodgson has retained a core of experience though. With Steven Gerrard suspended, Frank Lampard seems certain to skipper England against San Marino next Friday, and there are plenty of others Hodgson feels are capable of shouldering the burden of responsibility.
Little wonder he wants to get away from the twin subjects of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.
"We have enough leaders," he said. "Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are the captain and vice-captain.
"We also have people like Phil Jagielka, Michael Carrick, Joleon Lescott, Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson. Who knows which of these younger players emerge as leaders.
"One can only hope there will be one or two who at the moment are in the early stages of their careers, who will emerge and show the same leadership qualities as John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard."