Gerrard returns to training
06 Sep 2007 - 07:13:35
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard returned to training with England on Wednesday ahead of Saturday's vital Euro 2008 clash with Israel at Wembley.
Gerrard has made only one appearance since fracturing a toe in a Champions League qualifier against Toulouse last month and his fitness leading up to two must-win international matches has been the subject of much debate.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez had urged Steve McClaren not to take any gambles with the fitness of the midfield talisman, while the England coach suggested the player was desperate to play against Israel.
McClaren had also refused to rule out giving Gerrard pain-killing injections to get him through the 90 minutes.
Gerrard had sat out the first training session of the week with his international team-mates on Tuesday, but the Football Association confirmed the England vice-captain took part in Wednesday's session.
"Steven Gerrard played a part in training," read an FA statement.
"He will be continually assessed by the England medical staff and a decision on his fitness for Saturday's game will be taken later in the week."
Speaking on Tuesday, McClaren had admitted he was prepared to take a gamble on Gerrard's fitness.
He said: "My job is to do whatever I can to get the best players out on the pitch and that is what I will do.
"We are assessing the situation day-by-day and we will take Liverpool into consideration.
"But I am very, very confident Steven will be with us on Saturday for what is a very important game."