Oxlade-Chamberlain hands England fitness boost

The Arsenal midfielder trained with the rest of Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad on Monday ahead of the Three Lions' crunch World Cup clash against Uruguay on Thursday
By Greg Stobart in Rio de Janeiro

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has handed England a timely fitness boost after he trained with the rest of the squad ahead of Thursday's crucial World Cup clash with Uruguay.

The Arsenal midfielder joined the 23-man squad at the Three Lions’ training camp in Urca on Monday with heavy strapping around the knee injury sustained in the friendly against Ecuador on June 4.

England manager Roy Hodgson said last week he was hopeful that Oxlade-Chamberlain would be in contention to face Uruguay in Sao Paulo, and he appeared to move freely during a series of training exercises.

Back in contention | Oxlade-Chamberlain is put through his paces

There appear to be no other injury concerns for Hodgson, who held a lengthy conversation with captain Steven Gerrard at the start of the training session.

England lost their Group D opener 2-1 against Italy in Manaus on Saturday and are now preparing to face Uruguay in a game that will be pivotal to their hopes of qualifying for the second round.

"We won't panic," Hodgson said after the Italy defeat. "It was as positive performance as I have seen from us.

“It gives me great hope going forward, not just the next two games, but further than that because we have players here who will develop into very strong players."