England manager Gareth Southgate says he will have to make a last-minute decision over whether Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson can make the Three Lions squad for the European Championships.
Southgate has explained that Henderson’s injury means the midfielder will face a fitness race that would go “close to the end of the season” – casting doubt on how many times he will be able to play for Liverpool again this campaign.
“In terms of promises, we can only say that Hendo himself is very optimistic about how the operation went and the prognosis that the specialist has given him as to what is possible,” Southgate said.
“We are conscious that with any injury of that nature, there is a guide and a time defined – but that anything can happen along there
“We know it’s going to be close to the end of the season and we will just have to see how it goes.
“He will give himself every chance of being available. And, of course, we also know he is likely to be a bit short of match minutes in high-level games.
“There are a lot of things to take into consideration but, at the moment, that is a decision that is a few weeks away.”
Henderson underwent groin surgery at the end of February after leaving the field with an injury issue during the Merseyside derby defeat to Everton at anfield
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No timescale was placed on the injury at the time, but Liverpool said Henderson would be out until ‘at least the March international break’.
Now, though, it seems that Liverpool might have to wait another few weeks yet before they see Henderson take to the field again.
Jurgen Klopp’s side face a Champions League double-header with Real Madrid in April, but Southgate’s comments suggest that Henderson would face a race to be fit even for a possible semi-final should the Reds progress.