Harry Maguire fit and ready to face Scotland after recovering from ankle injury

The England centre-back was an established part of Gareth Southgate’s squad before being sidelined.

Harry Maguire fit and ready to face Scotland after recovering from ankle injury

Harry Maguire has declared himself fit and available for England’s eagerly-anticipated European Championship clash with Scotland.

The 28-year-old centre-back is an established part of Gareth Southgate’s side, having played a key role in the Three Lions’ unforgettable run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals in Russia.

But Maguire’s availability for this summer’s Euros has been in doubt since sustaining a high ankle sprain on May 9 after Aston Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi landed awkwardly on him.

Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire was injured playing against Aston Villa (Nick Potts/PA)

Maguire has been progressing ahead of schedule, though, and last week returned to full training, putting him in contention for Friday’s clash against bitter rivals Scotland.

“I feel good, I’ve been training now,” the centre-back said. “Obviously the injury was a setback club football wise.

“Internationally I wanted to come into this with a lot of games under my belt with full fitness, but I feel good. I’m back available, been training and I’m looking forward to it.”

Asked if he was desperate to start on Friday, he said: “Yeah definitely. Obviously it’s a big game. I’ve done a few sessions now and feel like my fitness is there, so, like I say, I’m available for the game.”

Harry Maguire
Maguire feared his ankle injury would force him to miss Euro 2020 (Dave Thompson/PA)

“It’s about building the confidence every day, and the only way you can do that is by training and playing games,” he said.

“You can do as many rehab sessions as you like, but when you’re not playing that competitive football you can’t build that confidence, especially when it’s an ankle or knee injury.

“So it’s just about more training sessions and games in training, games whenever they come and the confidence will keep going.

“I’m sure it will niggle me for a few weeks and months. I haven’t had one before, but from speaking to players and physios, I’m sure it will be niggling.

“But as long as it’s stable and the pain is bearable then I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

“I think throughout a career in football if you didn’t play through pain you would probably spend more time on the sideline than you would on the football pitch,” he said.

“I have done it throughout my career and so has everyone else who plays week in, week out.

“The thing for me is I haven’t had an ankle injury before so I couldn’t gauge the pain or stability. That is down to the physios and we do tests day in, day out.

“We firmly believe that it is in a good place stable wise and when it is a good place stable wise that is the priority and I am all good to go.”

Maguire also says he came to England with United’s blessing, admitting he was “nowhere near ready to run, turn or twist on it” at the Europa League final despite being named on the bench.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave his blessing to Maguire going to Euro 2020 (Martin Rickett/PA)

“He wouldn’t hold me back if he thought I was fit the first, second or third group game.

“He said ‘go and enjoy it, make sure it’s right obviously’. We have been in constant contact and the club has been brilliant with me.”

Southgate kept in regular contact with Maguire, who always felt he had a part to play as the focus turned fully on facing rivals Scotland.

“Of course it is a big game,” Maguire added. “Any game in the Euros is a massive game, putting Scotland in there as well is huge.

“It is going to be a great day, a great occasion for the country to get together and push us forward and try our best to go and get the three points and perform on the day.

“It will only be a great day if we get the three points and then I am sure we will enjoy the occasion.”

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