Jones back in harness for England

Phil Jones has had a shoulder injury
Phil Jones has had a shoulder injury
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Phil Jones trained with the England squad at St George’s Park yesterday as he steps up his return from a shoulder injury.

hree Lions boss Roy Hodgson named the Manchester United defender in his 23-man World Cup squad, although has admitted concerns over the knock he sustained towards the end of the Premier League season.

Preston-born Jones was restricted to light sessions at last week’s training camp in the Algarve and, while not yet involved in full-contact training, was doing ball work with his England team-mates at St George’s Park.

Like in Portugal, England’s players wore extra layers for training to up their body temperatures and sweat rates ahead of the Group D opener against Italy in Manaus, deep in the heart of the Amazon.

Only two players were missing from the 25 players brought to Burton-upon-Trent, comprised of the 23-man World Cup squad as well as standby players John Stones and Jon Flanagan.

Manchester City’s James Milner did not train due to a cold, while Leighton Baines was absent from the session due to a family commitment.

The Everton left-back is expected to link-up with the squad again on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, Liverpool target Adam Lallana insists his sole focus over the next few weeks will be England.

Lallana earned a place in Hodgson’s World Cup squad after a series of stunning displays for Southampton.

The England manager is not the only one to have noticed the midfielder’s incredible progress, though.

Speculation has mounted that Lallana could change clubs this summer, with the Anfield side said to be interested in signing the 26-year-old.

Lallana, who has been at Saints since 2000, is unmoved by the rumours and he is adamant that he will not be distracted by talk about his future in the build-up to the tournament.

Lallana said: “Whether my future gets sorted before or after the World Cup makes no difference to me. I am just fully focused on doing well for England and performing as well as I can.”

When England were hit by a series of injuries in the build-up to their friendly against Brazil last June, Lallana’s name was not mentioned as a possible replacement.

The midfielder was down the pecking order after a difficult first season in the Premier League. Just six months later Lallana made his England debut after hitting the ground running in his second top-flight season with Saints.