Hargreaves ready to step up

05 September 2007 03:41
Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves is ready to step into the England breach and test his problematic knee by playing in both of the forthcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers if required. Hargreaves has played just three games since joining the Red Devils in a £17million move from Bayern Munich earlier in the summer. The 26-year-old has been plagued by a tendonitis problem in his knee, but is ready to step up for England to cover an injury crisis in the centre of midfield with Frank Lampard ruled out and Steven Gerrard rated as doubtful. Hargreaves sat out the first training session of the week with his international colleagues on Tuesday, but is confident of playing against both Israel and Russia. "I hope I can play two games in a week," he said. "I have not done it yet this season but it has never been a problem before, so hopefully it won't be a problem now. "At one stage I did feel as though I wouldn't be ready for the start of the season but I have completed three games now and feel good. "I know I missed training on Tuesday but sometimes you can do too much." Meanwhile, Hargreaves has warned Gerrard that he should only consider playing in he is fully-fit. The Liverpool captain is currently sidelined with a fractured toe but could be given pain-killing injections to play against Israel at Wembley on Saturday. "Steven is only young and you want him to be fit for a long time and not just 90 minutes," he added. "You get knocks all the time but there is a big difference between a knock and a broken toe. No-one really understands how sore that injury can be."

Source: ESA