London 2012

Johnson fitness doubt

England defender sits out training again

Last Updated: 24/05/12 2:41pm

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Glen Johnson: Once again forced to sit out England training through injury

Glen Johnson: Once again forced to sit out England training through injury

Glen Johnson has emerged as a fitness concern for England as he was again unable to train due to a toe injury.

The Liverpool defender lasted just a few minutes of Roy Hodgson's first training session in front of the eyes of the media at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday morning.

The 27-year-old also sat out Wednesday's closed session, which is likely to be a concern for Hodgson given that he is the only specialist right-back in the 23-man squad for Euro 2012.

England face Norway in a friendly in Oslo on Saturday and, with Chelsea trio Ashley Cole, John Terry and Gary Cahill already excused after their UEFA Champions League commitments, Hodgson's defensive options are limited.

It raises the prospect of standby defender Phil Jagielka starting against the Norwegians, or even a debut for Johnson's Liverpool understudy Martin Kelly, who has been drafted in for the weekend as cover.


In a small-sided match, Hodgson actually lined Jagielka up alongside Joleon Lescott, with Phil Jones in the full-back role, with new coach Gary Neville featuring in the other team.

Neville was expected to become the link between Hodgson and his players.

However, Fabio Capello's successor is evidently going to be a more central figure as he took charge of training, which his predecessor preferred to observe.

Striker Danny Welbeck did some solo work away from the rest of the squad after missing Hodgson's first session as a precautionary measure.

The Manchester United forward has not played since injuring his ankle at this venue during the Manchester derby on April 30th.

The 21-year-old left the session before the scheduled close and is unlikely to figure at the weekend but Scott Parker, who has been struggling with an Achilles problem, came through unscathed.

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