Hodgson is positive about Ox

Roy Hodgson's men face Honduras tonight
Roy Hodgson's men face Honduras tonight
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Roy Hodgson is optimistic Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit enough to go to the World Cup despite his knee ligament damage.

Oxlade-Chamberlain fell awkwardly after a clumsy challenge by Carlos Gruezo in England’s 2-2 draw against Ecuador at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on Wednesday.

Scans taken the following morning showed the Arsenal midfielder suffered medial ligament damage to the right knee.

It is understood Oxlade-Chamberlain only sprained the ligament and did not tear it. He is expected to be out for two to three weeks.

He is therefore unlikely to play a part in England’s first two group matches, against Italy and Uruguay, but that may not stop him from travelling to Brazil with the squad tonight following a final warm-up game against Honduras.

England manager Hodgson said: “We will do everything in our power to keep him in the squad. Our medical team are optimistic and he is optimistic.

“We can’t say how long for certain it will take him to recover but obviously he will get very extensive treatment.

“We have the right to replace him if we want to up to 24 hours before the first game.

“We will do everything we can to keep him with us.”

Hodgson has options if Oxlade-Chamberlain is not fit enough.

Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley are on the standby list, as are Jon Flanagan and John Stones, who have spent the last two-and-a-half weeks with the squad.

One man pushing for a start this evening is Everton’s Ross Barkley, who impressed against Ecuador. The 20-year-old put in a series of mazy runs during the match from the No.10 position where Wayne Rooney normally operates.

Hodgson kept praise for Barkley to a minimum after the draw. The England boss said Barkley still had much to learn and gave the ball away too often.

Hodgson said: “I’ve seen too many young players lifted to the stars, made the new Keegan, the new Hoddle, the new Gascoigne...we believe in him but people shouldn’t be suggesting our World Cup should be hinging on his performance.”