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'It is getting better' - Maguire insists ankle injury is 'improving' as he eyes prominent England role at Euro 2020

13:38 BST 02/06/2021
Euro 2020 Top 100 Harry Maguire
The Manchester United defender is hopeful that he is nearing the end of his recovery after spending the last two months on the sidelines

Harry Maguire has insisted that his ankle injury is "improving and getting better" as he eyes a prominent role for England at Euro 2020.

Maguire sustained ankle ligament damage in Manchester United's Premier League victory at Aston Villa on May 9, and was subsequently forced to sit out the club's final five fixtures of the campaign - including their heartbreaking Europa League final loss to Villarreal.

The 28-year-old has not yet been cleared to return to action, but still managed to earn a spot in Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad for the European Championships, and he is fully focused on getting back into top condition ahead of the Three Lions' opening group game against Croatia on June 13.

What's been said?

"The fear that I had was missing everything," Maguire told The Sun. “I generally try to play through injuries. It was more of a twist, so when I did that, I knew it would be some sort of ligament damage.

"When I got the results of the scan, I knew it would be unlikely I would make the Europa League final - but we also never ruled it out.

"I would jump out of bed and put weight on my ankle, which I probably should not have done, and test it to see if the pain was still there.

"Every morning I woke up wishing the pain would be gone. Unfortunately, it was not to be. I knew for me to start the Europa League final was very unlikely but I hoped to play some part.

"However, it was out of reach and just not possible. Ahead of the final, I could still not run on the ankle. Obviously, it was really bad timing for myself.  

"But it is now improving and getting better, so I am just looking forward to the Euros."

Southgate on Maguire's recovery 

Maguire has not yet linked up with England after travelling back from Poland with Man Utd, and will miss their warm-up games against Austria and Romania.

Southgate has admitted he's not sure whether Maguire will be fit to feature against Croatia either, but he couldn't justify leaving out a talismanic figure, with the Three Lions set to wrap up their Group D campaign with fixtures against Scotland and the Czech Republic thereafter.

"We know exactly where he's at," The England boss said after announcing his squad on Tuesday. "Our medical team have been over with him in Manchester. He's not travelled to us yet because of quarantine issues coming back from Poland. That was a bit more complicated.

"He's got a bit to do, like Jordan Henderson, to be available. It is going to be tight for the first game, there is no question.

"He is such a good player and because we had the additional size of squad, we wanted to take that opportunity to bring him into the squad."

Maguire's England record

Maguire has racked up 32 caps for his country since making his senior debut in 2017, with seven of his appearances coming during England's run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

The experienced centre-back has also scored three goals at international level, including one in the Three Lions' most recent World Cup qualifying win over Poland in March.

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