England’s preparations for their World Cup quarter-final clash with Brazil have been given a boost with the news that Michael Owen and Paul Scholes are to resume training on Thursday and should be fit to face the Brazilians.
Owen and Scholes missed another training session at England’s Awaji Island headquarters on Wednesday but according to an FA spokesman, both will be involved in training tomorrow.
Neither player has trained since suffering minor injuries in the second round win over Denmark. Owen is battling a groin strain while Scholes received a kick on his foot.
Rumours surrounding Owen’s fitness have been rife since he failed to appear for the second-half of England’s 3-0 win over Denmark. There have been suggestions that he will take no further part in the competition, but the latest statement seems to offer a more optimistic prognosis. The loss of Owen would be a massive blow for coach Sven Goran Eriksson; his ability to run at the Brazilian defence is seen as one of Englsnd’s chief attacking weapons when the sides meet on Friday.
Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves Wednesday has also retiurned to full training and will be available for selection but coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is expected to name an unchanged line-up against the Brazilians.