Kenny Dalglish has warned the England manager Fabio Capello that he risks setting back Andy Carroll's recovery from injury if he pushes the Liverpool striker too hard in next Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales.
Carroll, 22, has featured in just three games for his new club since his January transfer which he completed while still suffering from a thigh injury. He played against Braga in the second-leg goalless draw on Thursday and Dalglish said that he was still not sure whether Carroll would have recovered in time to play against Sunderland tomorrow.
The England squad is named tomorrow evening with Carroll expected to be included for the first time since his debut against France in November. Capello is expected to name 25 players for the game in Cardiff and the friendly against Ghana at Wembley three days later with John Terry as his captain.
Dalglish said: "I don't know if Fabio wants to pick him [Carroll] or not, but there is no point in us being as guarded as we have been in his recuperation and doing such a good job to get him to where he is now if someone else is going to waste all that.
"You can see that it is great to have the big fellow back, but he needs games and I don't know what kind of state he will be in after the Braga game. He stayed on longer than we hoped.
"England have to be responsible with him. There is nothing we can do to stop them picking him, but common sense has to prevail. It is not a case of going to war with anyone. We fully understand somebody wanting to pick his best players for England, but they also have to understand the fact that he is not really there yet for fitness. If he picks him, he picks him – that's up to him."
Capello is expected to name Carroll as one of four strikers along with Wayne Rooney, Peter Crouch and Darren Bent. Jermain Defoe might yet be selected as a fifth one. Capello had five strikers in his previous squad for the Denmark game last month before Crouch and Gabriel Agbonlahor pulled out.
Dalglish said that Carroll had followed a closely controlled rehabilitation plan at Liverpool. He said: "The better you look after yourself the more minutes you can play. The plan with him [Carroll] has been definitive until [the Braga game on Thursday] when we had planned to take him off, but a lot of things he did in the game were encouraging. He still has a good bit of fitness to come."
There are no plans to pick David Beckham for the first time in a squad since England played Egypt more than a year ago. Beckham played 90 minutes for the LA Galaxy in the opening game of the Major League season in the United States on Tuesday but he is not regarded as having played enough games to be under consideration.
The Spurs winger Aaron Lennon, who has not played for England since the World Cup finals last summer, is expected to be named in the squad. He was picked in the squad to play Montenegro in October but withdrew with injury.