Football / Coca-Cola World Youth Cup: Barmby in doubt

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The Independent Online
NICKY BARMBY will undergo intensive therapy in the next few days in an effort to prove his fitness in the World Youth Cup, writes Doug Booth.

Mystery has surrounded Barmby's fitness since he arrived in Melbourne 10 days ago. Barmby, reported at first to be suffering from a long-term knee injury, missed yesterday's Group C game against Turkey with shin splints.

David Burnside, the England manager, who earlier in the week said Barmby was medically fit to play, despite the knee problem, admitted after yesterday's win that Barmby was doubtful for the quarter-final against Mexico in Melbourne on Sunday. 'We will have to wait a few days to see whether he can play. He has been complaining of sore shins at training. But I am hopeful of him playing on Sunday - if selected,' Burnside said.

But Barmby believes he can prove his fitness. 'I have had treatment and I believe I can play on Sunday,' he said yesterday.