Scott Parker's fitness to be assessed as England assemble for Euro 2012 preparations

 

Roy Hodgson will assess the fitness of key midfielder Scott Parker when the England squad assembles later today to launch their preparations for Euro 2012.

Parker, who skippered his country against Holland in February, was troubled by an Achilles injury during the latter part of the domestic campaign with Tottenham.

He will be checked by the England medical team when reporting with the other players at their Manchester base.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp cast doubts last week over whether Parker would be fit for the Euros.

Hodgson was more confident about his chances when he announced his squad a week ago but will not make a final decision until May 29 - the date the final Euro squad needs to be submitted.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson is on stand-by should Parker be ruled out.

Hodgson has had to wait three weeks since becoming new head coach to link up with new skipper Steven Gerrard and the majority of the players chosen for Poland and Ukraine this summer.

The conclusion of the Barclays Premier League season and the need for players to take a short break before the summer exertions has delayed Hodgson's involvement with the squad.

It leaves the former West Brom boss just 19 days and two friendly internationals against Norway and Belgium to hone his plans and ideas before the Euro 2012 opener with France on June 11.

The players will undergo their first training sessions with Hodgson today and and tomorrow before flying out to Oslo on Friday for the clash with Norway the following day.

It is the first time they have been together since the 3-2 defeat by Holland at Wembley in late February - and it will be next week before a full compliment of players is at Hodgson's disposal.

The Chelsea contingent of John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill - plus stand-by player Daniel Sturridge - have been given extra time off after the club's Champions League heroics.

They will not report for duty until next Tuesday when England will be relocated in their accustomed Hertfordshire base ahead of the home clash with Belgium at Wembley on June 2.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is also working to the same schedule after playing with a minor injury during the latter part of the campaign.

But in any case Rooney is suspended for England's opening two Euro games and his first chance to be involved in the tournament will be against Ukraine on June 19.

Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Martin Kelly will join the England squad today as additional cover for the friendly in Norway.

Kelly, who has been capped for his country at Under-21 level, will return to his club after the game in Oslo.

PA

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