Four of Capello's England absentees return to action

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The Independent Football

Four of the England players who missed Wednesday's friendly away to Germany through injury are expected to return for their clubs today – including all three of Chelsea's absentees. Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Ashley Cole have all been included in the squad by manager Luiz Felipe Scolari for the home league game against Newcastle United.

However it's understood that England manager Fabio Capello is not concerned about the returning players – the other is expected to be Manchester United's Wayne Rooney – and accepts all were genuinely injured.

Nevertheless Capello was annoyed at the high-number of players who were absent and, according to sources, didn't want to leave the matter without investigating exactly what was going on because he was adamant he wouldn't be left looking like "an idiot". He has also reminded all clubs of his right, under Fifa rules, for players to be examined by the Football Association's own medical staff.

Rooney did not return to training until Thursday while United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said that Rio Ferdinand remained "very doubtful" for today's game against Aston Villa because of his back problems.

Lampard returned to training the same day as Rooney after suffering a rib injury playing for Chelsea last weekend. He had reported for international duty but was sent home after the FA medical staff detected a problem.

Of the others, Steven Gerrard will miss Liverpool's home game against Fulham. He trained alone yesterday and is also considered, by manager Rafael Benitez, as a doubt for next Wednesday's Champions League tie at home to Marseilles. Emile Heskey, who has been suffering from a hamstring injury, has a little more time as Wigan Athletic don't face Everton until Monday.