England coach Steve McClaren is prepared to ignore Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez’s request for Steven Gerrard not to be given a painkilling injection ahead of Saturday’s Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel.
Gerrard has a broken toe and Benitez has already said he does not want the player to have a jab.
But England coach Steve McClaren says Gerrard is eager to play on Saturday and will have an injection if necessary.
“We’re leaving it as late as possible but we want Steven on the field and we want him ready to play,” said McClaren.
“We will liaise with Liverpool and we will do nothing to put the player at risk, but we will also go a lot on how Steven feels and what he wants.”
Gerrard had an injection to enable him to play for Liverpool against Chelsea on 19 August but Benitez said it took him “four or five” days to recover and start training again.
McClaren insisted he would not do anything that would have a long-term effect on Gerrard’s fitness, but his priority at the moment was the Israel game.
“You look and in some cases, if there’s no great risk, then fine,” said the England coach.
“John Terry and Frank Lampard had broken toes in pre-season and were taking injections.
“I have known it at club level where it would be just too painful to play (without the injection) but there’s no risk of further injury if you have one.”
McClaren’s midfield options are limited because Lampard is definitely out of the Israel game because of a thigh injury.
“Frank is having intensive treatment with Chelsea and we have said he might have a chance of playing in the second game (against Russia),” said McClaren.
“It is still a far-out possibility at this moment but he is doing everything he can to be available.”