Southgate issues worrying Henderson injury update
England manager Gareth Southgate has expressed doubt over the fitness of Jordan Henderson going into this summer’s European Championships.
Henderson, who underwent groin surgery at the end of February after sustaining an injury in the Merseyside derby, was initially ruled out by Liverpool until ‘at least the March international break’. It now looks as though he could be facing an even longer spell on the sidelines, with a return before the end of the season far from a formality.
Southgate has admitted that nothing can be said for certain regarding the injury, and that there is a possibility he could head into the Euros shorn of any real match fitness.
“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 told the Liverpool Echo.
“We know it’s going to be close to the end of the season and we will just have to see how it goes.
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“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.”
The update will come as a significant blow to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who has had to contend with a multitude of serious injuries to key players this season. Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Virgil Van Dijk have all had their seasons cut short prematurely, with the Netherlands manager Frank de Boer – much like Southgate with Henderson – unsure as to whether Van Dijk will be fit enough for the Euros.
“I can understand they (Liverpool) don’t want to put any pressure on Virgil at all and neither do we,” de Boer said.
“His recovery is going according to plan. We know he has eight weeks left. I don’t know if that’s enough for him to be ready for the Euros.
“I have spoken to him, he’ll soon be returning to training, but there can be all kinds of setbacks. A week or two of setbacks could mean he cannot play any games for Liverpool still this season.
“Anything he can contribute to Liverpool and possibly us would be a bonus. I’m not counting on it right now. But if it did happen, it would be fantastic for the national team.”
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