Liverpool's injury-prone striker Daniel Sturridge missed both of England's friendlies against Turkey and Australia leading up to the Euros next month due to a calf strain. The injury has, as of this writing, yet to go Full Sturridge, but that's always the fear when fans hear that Sturridge is out again.
Due to this recent setback, he's running out of time to qualify for the 23-man England squad. Manager Roy Hodgson has decided to give the striker one more chance to earn a place with extra training overseen by the former Liverpool manager. While Hodgson could not be held responsible for the constant injuries Sturridge has accrued over the course of his career, it remains true that the striker has faced two long injury setbacks after going off to international duty.
Sturridge's place on the England squad looks to be at risk, since two of the 25 players on the provisional squad are not going to make it to France next month. His lack of participation in these important friendlies, as well as the possibility of a lingering calf problem, could mean Sturridge stays home this summer.
Regarding his ultimate decision, Hodgson has remained coy, but about Sturridge's situation, he said:
"Sturridge has a minor injury and we hope it will settle down tomorrow. He’ll be doing extra training on Sunday and he’ll be throwing his hat into the ring and it looks like 25 players will be asking for a seat on the plane and that I’m going to have to disappoint two of them.
"It isn’t just a question of quality of player but it’s also about the balance of the team. There’s a lot of factors to consider and we’ve been doing that non-stop in the build-up and playing two different teams have given me a chance to test some things out."
And on the commitment of the player, which has been called into question in the past, Hodgson was complimentary:
"The one thing I would say about Daniel is don't try to start questioning his commitment or his desire. If I go to Daniel Sturridge and tell him he isn't going to France, he'll be as disappointed as any other player.
"If I choose him it will be because I am convinced he can handle those situations, and if I choose him it will be because I believe he will be able to help us come back with good results from the tournament."
Sturridge isn't the only Red whose place on the team is threatened. Adam Lallana is fighting for space in a crowded midfield filled with the likes of Jamie Vardy, Raheem Sterling, and English hero Wayne Rooney, so it wouldn't be entirely surprising to see him sent home as well.
The deadline for submitting the final 23-man roster is Tuesday 31 May, so the fates of the English hopefuls will be known soon enough. Let's just hope that Sturridge's injury is indeed minor and doesn't once again translate to him spending months of time on the injury list.