Smith faces prospect of injection

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The Independent Football

Kelly Smith, England's only world-class female footballer, faces the prospect of a second injection in a week today as England seek to remain in the Uefa Womens Championship.

England lost their opening tie 2-1 to Italy on Tuesday making victory against outsiders Russia imperative in Helsinki this evening. Smith, who endured a painful 45 minutes in that match, as England sought to overcome the early dismissal of Casey Stoney, hopes to play. Though the Boston Breakers striker had a cortisone jab at the weekend her knee may require a pain-killing injection. "It's worth it," she said." Playing at this level for your country, you're willing to do anything."

Russia, who have never won a finals match, were beaten 6-0 when the teams last met, in March 2007, but have improved markedly since. "If we turn up like we did against Italy we're going to be heading home early, so we have to buck our ideas up," said the former Arsenal striker.

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