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England's Maddison makes timely training return after knee injury lay-off

By Harry Carr

Doha, Nov. 26: James Maddison has joined team training with England for the first time since the World Cup began, having missed the Three Lions' first two fixtures in Qatar due to a knee injury.

Three years after winning his only senior cap to date, Maddison claimed a place in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad after enjoying a fine run of form with Leicester City.

Maddison's tally of 11 Premier League goal contributions this season (seven goals, four assists) is only bettered by four players – Erling Haaland (21), Harry Kane (13), Kevin De Bruyne and Ivan Toney (both 12).

However, the attacking midfielder sat out England's first two Group B games – a 6-2 win over Iran and a goalless draw with the United States – after sustaining a knee injury in Leicester's most recent match against West Ham.

As England began their preparations for Tuesday's meeting with Wales on Saturday, Maddison played a full part in group training for the first time since the team arrived in Qatar.

"Fourteen players are out for today's session in Al Wakrah, with those who started yesterday's game taking part in a recovery session," read a fitness update issued by England.

"James Maddison returns to training following his rehabilitation, while Jordan Henderson is working indoors on an individual programme."

England lead the way in Group B ahead of the final set of first-round fixtures, and they will qualify for the last 16 providing they avoid a four-goal defeat against Rob Page's team.

The Three Lions have never faced another British side at the World Cup, but they are unbeaten in three such games at the European Championships (W1 D1 v Scotland, W1 v Wales).

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Story first published: Saturday, November 26, 2022, 20:41 [IST]
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