Bent aiming to time his Euros run to perfection

Injured Villa striker believes he can recover but defender Smalling is forced to admit defeat

Darren Bent has told Roy Hodgson's medical staff that he believes he can be fit in time to play in England's two warm-up games against Norway on 26 May and Belgium one week later to give himself the chance of making the Euro 2012 squad.

The Aston Villa striker has had two visits in the last week from Hodgson's head physiotherapist, Gary Lewin, who has been assessing the fitness of Bent, who has not played since 25 February. He had surgery on ankle ligaments nine days after the game against Wigan Athletic in which he sustained the injury.

He had previously been thought to be out of the European Championship but his recovery now offers the new England manager the outside possibility that he could be available – albeit without having played a competitive game since the end of February. He would represent a major risk for a manager who has a wide range of strikers.

Hodgson has Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Peter Crouch, Daniel Sturridge, Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll, among others, at his disposal. The orthodox approach would be to take four strikers, with Theo Walcott possibly going as one of the eight midfielders but, with Rooney suspended for the first two games, Hodgson could be persuaded to take five.

Scott Parker is the latest injury concern for Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad but the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is expected to be fit for England even if he does not recover in time to play for his club in their final game of the season against Fulham tomorrow.

Named captain by Stuart Pearce for the friendly against the Netherlands on 29 February, Parker is struggling with an achilles problem that has seen him miss recent games against Bolton, Blackburn and Norwich City. It has become a worry for the player, now an established first-team member of the England side.

Harry Redknapp said yesterday that Parker was a doubt for the Fulham game and that he would need painkilling injections in order to play.

"He [Parker] is struggling with fitness," Redknapp said. "It is not a rupture but it is sore. He is not going to train and we are going to see how he is and whether he could be availablefor the weekend."

"[But] it is bothering him at the moment," admitted the Tottenham manager. "After Sunday he will have some injections in it and see if that can clear it up. He's been carrying it a few weeks. The specialist thinks it will clear up but it will need 10 days' rest afterwards. We are hoping it will be OK."

Yesterday brought news of the withdrawal of Manchester United's Chris Smalling from the Euro 2012 reckoning with a groin injury aggravated in the 2-0 win over Swansea City last Sunday. Sir Alex Ferguson said that the defender, who was signed by Hodgson during his time at Fulham, was just about to come off when Rio Ferdinand got injured and had to be withdrawn instead.

Ferguson said: "We tried to take him off but then Rio got a knock and Chris thought he could stay on. Now he is going to miss the European Championship with a torn groin muscle. We are assessing what to do with it at the moment but it is a bad injury."

Walking wounded: England's Euro sick list


Michael Dawson (Spurs) ankle

Jack Rodwell (Everton) hamstring

Chris Smalling (Man United) groin

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) ankle


Darren Bent (Aston Villa) ankle injured but should be fit

Gary Cahill (Chelsea) hamstring

Theo Walcott (Arsenal) hamstring

Danny Welbeck (Man United) ankle


Wayne Rooney (Man United)

[misses opening two games]

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas