England handed major fitness boost ahead of Wales clash

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England received a huge fitness boost in training on Saturday as Leicester City’s James Maddison rejoined the group.

Maddison missed both the 6-2 win over Iran and the 0-0 draw with the USA because of a knee problem he picked up before leaving for Qatar.

There had been hopes that the playmaker wouldn’t need any time off but his absence has extended beyond the second round of fixtures, although his wait for a World Cup debut could be approaching its end as Maddison returned to training on Saturday.

Maddison has one England cap to his name and has not featured for his country in over three years, and it looked like his impressive form at club level wasn’t going to be rewarded before he evantually sealed a spot in Gareth Southgate’s final squad.

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Saturday’s training session was a light one, with all of the starters and used substitutes against the USA given the day off the recover.

Jordan Henderson, who came off the bench on Friday, was present but trained away from the group on his own fitness programme.

England remain top of Group B after their disappointing draw with the USA and will expect to seal qualification for the knockout stages when they face off against Wales on Tuesday.

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