Jermain Defoe has returned to the England camp after flying home on Thursday morning to be with his family after the death of his father.
The Tottenham striker arrived back at the team’s hotel base in Krakow and will take part in Saturday morning’s training session, which will come as a welcome and timely boost to manager Roy Hodgson ahead of his preparations for Monday’s opening group game against Laurent Blanc’s heavily-fancied France side.
Defoe’s father, Jimmy, was thought to have been ill for quite some time prior to his death. Although Defoe’s initial statement said that he would ‘rejoin the squad in due course’, which many saw as a sign that he would at least miss the game against Les Bleus, the forward has returned earlier than expected.
The 29-year-old goes into his first European Championship having scored 15 goals in 47 appearances for the Three Lions.
He has come off the bench for 30 of those appearances, a record number for an England player.
He does have previous experience when it comes to major international tournaments, however, having featured as part of Fabio Capello’s squad at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, scoring the only goal of the game in the 1-0 group win over Slovenia.