England head coach Gareth Southgate says Jordan Henderson faces a race against time to be fit for this summer’s European Championships.
Henderson was forced off with a groin injury in Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat to Everton last month and the 30-year-old midfielder was expected to be sidelined for five weeks after undergoing surgery.
And while the operation was deemed to be a success, the Liverpool captain – who has won 58 caps for his country – is still some way from being able to return to training and was therefore not considered for the Three Lions’ World Cup qualifiers with San Marino, Albania and Poland.
There are now major concerns over Henderson’s potential availability for the delayed Euro 2020 which kicks off in under three months’ time.
‘We know it’s going to be close to the end of the season and we will just have to see how it goes,’ Southgate told reporters ahead of England’s Group I clash with Albania in Tirana.
‘We are conscious that with any injury of that nature, there is a guide and a time defined but that anything can happen along the way.
‘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.’
Southgate confirmed Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope will continue his run in the side after coming away from Wembley with a clean sheet versus Group I minnows San Marino.
‘Nick was always going to play the next games anyway. He’s been really patient for his opportunity,’ Southgate added.
‘He performs consistently high every week for his club and he’s been with us for a long time, waiting for this moment. He’s a very calm character – we like his personality.
‘We knew against San Marino he wasn’t going to be overworked. I’m sure it will be different in the next games.’
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