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Parker vows to play through pain

England midfielder Scott Parker has vowed to fight an Achilles injury to represent his country at Euro 2012.

Questions have been raised over Parker and his midfield partner Steven Gerrard’s ability to play almost three games in a week in Poland and Ukraine.

The pair will both be 32 years of age by the end of the year, yet with high-profile casualties in the build-up to the European Championship including Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry, Parker has vowed to fight through the pain.

“Myself and Steven (Gerrard) just have to keep going,” Parker told reporters. “We have to, don’t we? If selected, I’m sure we can keep going.

“There’s not a lot of cover in midfield, but I’m sure we’ll be fine, and we have got other boys who can come in.”

England boss Roy Hodgson shares Parker’s optimism regarding the pair’s fitness ahead of the Sweden clash on Friday, and he was also quick to stress that he will not be the only manager at the tournament with the quandary.

“I don’t think I will be the only coach asking that about his players in this tournament, but obviously those two are both over 30 years of age,” Hodgson told reporters.

“My gut feeling? If we have a good recovery day on Tuesday, a sensible training day on Wednesday and sensible recovery day on Thursday, I think we’re going to make it very hard for people to leave them out.”

Another England player whose English Premier League campaign was hampered by injury is Liverpool’s Glen Johnson.

Like Gerrard, Johnson spent a prolonged spell on the sidelines through injury last season, but the 27-year-old defender is determined not to let injury affect his participation in Poland and Ukraine.

“For the last four games of the Premier League, I had a toe infection and was playing with three injections just to kill the pain,” Johnson told reporters.

“I’ve been on antibiotics for pretty much five weeks now.

“I came off them for five days and it got a lot worse, so I’m still on them – they’re obviously doing something.

“It’s still there, but it’s manageable. I’m training, but it’s generally sore after games.

“We’re in a European Championship. I’m not going to let my little toe stop me. We’ve got two more group games and I want to enjoy these moments and give it every effort I can.”

Wed 13 Jun, 2012
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