England sweating Gerrard fitness

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard
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England hope Steven Gerrard will be available for next week’s friendly against Germany after he had a pain-killing injection in his hip.

Gerrard has been troubled by a hip niggle over the last few weeks and he was officially ruled out of Friday’s game against Chile.

But England manger Roy Hodgson revealed in a media briefing before training that he has sanctioned a pain-killing injection in the hope that the player could be available for Germany’s visit to Wembley on Tuesday.

Gerrard’s absence from the Chile game means that Frank Lampard will captain the team so long as he overcomes the mild cold that did not prevent him from training on Wednesday.

Uncapped Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana is likely to get a run out, as is his team-mate Jay Rodriguez.

Saints striker Rickie Lambert enjoyed a successful debut against Scotland in August and he hopes Southampton’s two latest international hopefuls can make a similar impact over the next few days.

“I am sure that if they get the chance, it’s possible (they could do the same),” Lambert said.

“They are absolutely great players. When they get the cap I am sure they will do well.

“They are very mentally strong. Even though they are happy to be here, they fully understand that you have to impress and they are determined to do that.”

Kyle Walker has had an injection on an unspecified injury while Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge missed training on Wednesday due to a bruised foot.

Stand-in captain Lampard will be awarded a golden cap to commemorate his achievement of reaching 100 caps last month and he will be joined by his two daughters Isla and Luna, who will be mascots at Wembley.

Lambert, meanwhile, hopes more clubs will follow Southampton’s lead and invest more money in home- grown players.

As it stands, Lambert, Rodriguez and Lallana are on course to be in Hodgson’s provisional squad.

Saints youth products James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw, who are with the Under-21s, may get a chance to impress at senior level in March while Nathaniel Clyne has received a glowing reference from Hodgson in the past.

If Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain recover from injury, as expected, there is a chance that over a third of Hodgson’s World Cup squad could be current Southampton players, or ones who have graduated from the club’s famed academy.

“I think a lot of other chairmen are going out and spending money on the continent instead of investing in young British players and that is a shame,” Lambert said.

“I’m not just saying it because I am at Southampton but I think other chairmen need to take a look at how (Southampton chairman) Nicola (Cortese) has done things and make it an example.

“Nicola made it clear that the youth system is the way we are going to go.

“It has given them the confidence to feel free and play their stuff.

“To see the players like Prowsey, Chambo (Oxlade-Chamberlain) and Luke Shaw coming through and (under-19 international) Callum Chambers as well, it’s a pleasure to be part of it.”