Glen Johnson an injury concern as Roy Hodgson takes England training session

 

Glen Johnson sparked a fitness concern ahead of England's friendly with Norway this weekend when he failed to play any meaningful part in an open training session this morning because of an infected toe.

The Liverpool defender missed training at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium yesterday but was in the group that arrived at the stadium this morning.

However, Johnson lasted only a matter of minutes before he headed down the tunnel for further treatment on what was described as "a minor injury" by the FA yesterday.

Even though Johnson's injury is hardly long-term, there must be a doubt over his availability for the Norway friendly in Oslo on Saturday.

And that could mean a first cap for Liverpool team-mate Martin Kelly.

With the four-strong Chelsea contingent - including three of the seven defenders named in his 23-man Euro 2012 squad - plus Wayne Rooney, all missing, Hodgson will have to draft someone in to make up a defence that is virtually certain to include Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott and Leighton Baines.

Hodgson does have the option of selecting James Milner at right-back.

However, Phil Jagielka has made senior appearances for England in that role.

The presence of Kelly is more intriguing though, as he was added to the standby list of players on Tuesday as a direct result of the doubt over Johnson.

Former Three Lions boss Fabio Capello was a big fan of the Merseyside-born defender, although he has still to win a senior cap.

In a small-sided match, Hodgson actually lined Jagielka up alongside Lescott, with Jones in the full-back role, with new coach Gary Neville a central figure in the other team.

Neville's presence was the most obvious example of the new broom that has swept through England since they secured qualification for this summer's Finals in Poland and Ukraine last October.

The former Manchester United man was expected to become the link between Hodgson and his players, although Capello's successor is evidently going to be a more central figure as he took charge of training, which his predecessor preferred to observe.

Striker Danny Welbeck, who has not played since injuring his ankle at today's training venue during the Manchester derby on April 30, did a solo session, although that did not look too strenuous and he is unlikely to figure this weekend.

Welbeck left the session before the scheduled close but Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker, who has been struggling with an Achilles problem, came through unscathed.

PA

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