World Cup: Roy Hodgson upbeat on Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jagielka
England boss Roy Hodgson expects Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jagielka to be in World Cup contention.
Last Updated: 01/05/14 11:15am
Preparations for this summer's showpiece in Brazil have already been rocked by injuries to Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez and Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend.
Hodgson has also revealed that Spurs full-back Kyle Walker is a serious doubt as he nurses a pelvic problem.
There had been fears that a number of other senior stars may miss out on a place in the final 23-man squad as they carry knocks which have limited their involvement at club level.
Everton defender Jagielka (hamstring), Arsenal midfielder Wilshere (broken foot) and his team-mate Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) all face a race to get minutes under their belt before seats on the plane are allocated with Hodgson due to name his provisional 30-man squad on May 12.
Hodgson is, however, confident that the trio will be available to him and has assured all of his hopefuls that their claims to a squad spot are not dependent on turning out domestically before the end of the campaign.
He said: "Wilshere has been training with the others at Arsenal and, while he is not being thrown back into the fray, he is there. He has been training with the team, as far as I know, for a while.
"I am not prepared to have a 100 per cent rule that you either play in the last game of the season or you don't go - I am not prepared to do that.
"I have spoken to Arsene (Wenger) and they have been holding him back because they don't want to push him too early."
Hodgson added on another Arsenal star: "Oxlade-Chamberlain just needs a couple of weeks' rest."
Bolstering his midfield options with two highly-rated young talents would offer a welcome boost to the England coach, as would being in a position to call upon experienced centre-half Jagielka.
He added on a man who has started to form a promising partnership with Chelsea's Gary Cahill at the heart of England's back four: "We have had good reports back for the last few weeks.
"He has had a problem but he has been participating to a decent level in training.
"They have been keen not to throw him back in but we don't have any fears. He might be back in on Saturday (against Manchester City)."
Would you select Wilshere or Jagielka? You can put yourself in Hodgson's shoes with Sky Sports' England Squad Selector. Click here to make your choices.