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England striker Marcus Rashford suffers injury scare ahead of World Cup

Marcus Rashford (Martin Rickett/PA)
Marcus Rashford (Martin Rickett/PA)

England manager Gareth Southgate revealed forward Marcus Rashford picked up a "slight knock" before the squad travelled to Russia for the World Cup.

The Three Lions landed in St Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon en route to their training base in Repino, with the tournament getting under way when hosts Russia face Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Southgate confirmed there were no major injury concerns, but would assess Manchester United forward Rashford ahead of the first scheduled open training session on Wednesday.

"Marcus took a slight knock, but nothing too serious, so we will have a look at that ahead of tomorrow's session which is open for everybody to see, but other than that, everybody came through fine," Southgate said in an interview with BBC Sport at St Petersburg airport.

"Across three weeks, we have been really pleased to get the 23 we picked through all of the sessions."

The England boss added he would "probably know" his starting XI for the Group G opener against Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18 "if it was tomorrow", but insisted there was still plenty of time for players to stake their claim.

"We have another week of preparation and a lot of competition for places. That is good, things can change pretty quickly," Southgate said before the squad headed off to their base at the ForRest Mix Club in Repino.

"You can pick knocks up, there is one or two very close calls that we can see how we players are when we get into sessions here."

Harry Kane will lead England into the World Cup as captain.

The Tottenham forward believes the squad can build on a positive atmosphere within the camp.

"We are obviously excited to be here now. We just wanted to get over here and settled to start to prepare for the games ahead," he said. "It is a World Cup - there is always going to be pressure, nerves and excitement.

"For us it is about working hard and training hard until the game, then going out there and having some fun."

England's 23-man squad includes 11 black, Asian and ethnic minority players - the highest number they have taken to any major competition.

Ashley Young insists he has no concerns over his family travelling out to support the Three Lions.

There are widespread concerns surrounding racism on the eve of the World Cup, with the Russian Football Union fined £22,000 by FIFA for racist chanting in a March friendly against France in St Petersburg.

Such potential flash points led to Tottenham defender Danny Rose asking his family to remain behind at home amid fears of racist abuse.

But Young will have his family present at the games and backed the Football Association's security measures to keep everyone safe.

"I've got no concerns at all," the Manchester United man told Press Association Sport.

"I've got a family that are going out there. The FA have spoken to us security-wise and I've got every confidence in them and with family going out there."

Press Association

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