England defender Harry Maguire has given an update on his injury after missing Manchester United’s final five games of the season.
The 28-year-old was selected as part of Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad on Tuesday but the Three Lions boss says Maguire is unlikely to be available for England’s EURO 2020 opener against Croatia next Sunday.
The Red Devils skipper missed United’s Europa League final last week after suffering an ankle ligament injury against Aston Villa at the beginning of last month.
Maguire says he initially feared missing ‘everything’ in reference to United’s crunch final and the European Championships before he revealed the condition of his ankle has improved.
Speaking to The Sun, Maguire admitted: “The fear that I had was missing everything. I knew it was quite a bad injury.
“When I got the results of the scan, I knew it would be unlikely I would make the Europa League final – but we also never ruled it out,” he explained.
“I would jump out of bed and put weight on my ankle, which I probably should not have done, and test it to see if the pain was still there.
“Every morning I woke up wishing the pain would be gone,” Maguire went on to say, describing his agony.
“Unfortunately, it was not to be.”
The United captain was named on the bench for the Red Devils’ penalty shootout defeat to Villarreal but had not even trained with the team in Gdansk.
Despite England’s opening game at Wembley being just 11 days away, Maguire is confident of featuring.
“Ahead of the final, I could still not run on the ankle,” revealed the 32-time capped international.
“But it is now improving and getting better, so I am just looking forward to the Euros.”
Southgate is not sounding so optimistic ahead of the tournament start, with the ex-Leicester City man and Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson both major doubts.
“Both of the players are not where you would want them to be in terms of being available for the game against Croatia,” the England manager admitted during his post-squad announcement press conference yesterday.
“We are realistic about that.”
“But they are outstanding players, but when you are talking about Maguire who hardly ever misses a game and Hendo, who has made a living out of making the impossible seem possible, then maybe they can get there.”
Southgate has called up fellow defenders Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings to potentially partner John Stones if Maguire does indeed miss any minutes.
Kyle Walker can also cover there if the Three Lions revert to a three-man back line, as can Reece James.
Southgate’s side face Austria on Wednesday evening in a friendly at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesborough, before facing Romania at the same venue on Sunday.
Maguire’s United teammate, Jesse Lingard, is set to be involved despite having been dropped from the 33-man provisional squad, while Mason Greenwood withdrew due to injury.
England – who are joint-favourites with France to win the tournament – will then kick off their Group D campaign against Croatia on Sunday, June 11.