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Sterling has been having injections in his toe for several weeks, and Hodgson has decided to collaborate with Liverpool to allow him to fully recover. He will play in England’s Euro qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley, but will then be allowed to return to Melwood when the rest of the squad fly to Turin.
The Lithuania game will be his 50th appearance of the season in all competitions.
It means three Liverpool players have now withdrawn from Roy’s original squad, with Lallana and Sturridge confirming their absence after the weekend loss to Man Utd. Only Jordan Henderson remains.
“People may judge us on Italy rather than Lithuania but that is dangerous because apart from all the players I have lost through injury, I fear we will lose a few more,” said the England boss.
“Already there are one or two who I know won’t be able to join us against Italy because of the problems they are dealing with at the moment. I fear, on this occasion in particular, it won’t be as strong a team as maybe I would like to have put out. But the qualifier is still the priority even though, on paper, Italy are a stronger team to play than Lithuania.”
Kick off in Turin is on Tuesday 31st March at 7.45pm.