Barry still hopeful
Gareth Barry is still feeling positive about his chances of making the World Cup finals.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 22/05/10 1:40pm
Gareth Barry is still feeling positive about his chances of making the World Cup finals despite an anxious wait over his ankle injury.
The Manchester City midfielder was named in Fabio Capello's 30-man provisional squad to go to South Africa, despite damaging ligaments in his right ankle in his club's 1-0 defeat against Tottenham at the start of May.
The 29-year-old is a likely starter in centre midfield for England despite this being his first taste of an international tournament since being picked as a 19-year-old for the European Championship in 2000.
Barry is set to face a decision on Monday, when he will be assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon as to whether wearing a protective boot and spending time in an oxygen tent has sufficiently healed his ankle to make the final squad.
"I'm still feeling positive," said Barry. "It's too early to assess just yet whether I'll make it.
"It was a huge blow because things had been going so well with England and this is the biggest tournament of my career. But it's been more positive lately."
Barry's optimism over his fitness and his importance in the holding role in midfield appears to have given him more of chance to be involved, despite Capello's admission that he would not pick players if they are not fit.
But Barry confessed that he had done everything in his power to get fit, even if there was some confusion on when his assessment was due to take place.
"I've stayed in Manchester and worked closely with the fitness coaches at the club," he said.
"There had been a little confusion when it was thought I was only seeing the specialist on 29th May - a day before we play Japan in our last friendly.
"But I called the manager (Capello) and explained that the actual date is 24th May. So he was able to include me in the provisional squad and I've done everything I can - like sleeping in an oxygen tent to speed up the recovery.
"I'm hopeful I'll get the all clear, even though I'll be crossing my fingers."