England have suffered what The Daily Telegraph describes as one of the “most bizarre injuries” in World Cup history.
Fortunately for the Three Lions, who face Panama on Sunday, the victim wasn’t a player but Gareth Southgate.
The England manager dislocated his right shoulder yesterday while on a 10k run near the squad’s base in Repino on the Gulf of Finland. According to Sky Sports, the 47-year-old Southgate “tripped and tried to break the fall with his arm, only to end up dislocating his shoulder”.
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He staggered back to the squad’s base, where England team doctor Rob Chakraverty accompanied him to hospital so he could have the injury treated.
Southgate, who 36 hours earlier was seen wildly celebrating England’s late winner against Tunisia, subsequently made light of the injury. “I am just a bit gutted because I was on for my record 10k time!” he said. “The doc has made it clear that punching the air is not an option.”
With his arm in a sling, Southgate held a meeting with his squad in the evening to discuss Sunday’s crucial group G match. “They were a bit surprised in the team meeting,” he said, “and were asking ‘what have you been doing!?’. As always, they were probably quite amused. It is better this is me than one of the players.”
Southgate also paid tribute to the England medical staff, before issuing an apology. “We are lucky we have a top-class medical team around us, so it was fine,” he said. “I had brilliant help from them, and I am just sorry that I managed to ruin their day off.
“They were supposed to be relaxing because we let the players have a bit of time off and I am causing them work.”
In fact, The Guardian reports that the England medical staff have been working hard on Dele Alli, who suffered a slight thigh strain in Monday’s victory.
The paper says that the Tottenham midfielder is responding well to treatment and while he will probably sit out Sunday’s clash with Panama, “he should be back in contention for the game against Belgium”.
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