England handed major fitness boost ahead of Wales clash

England received a major fitness boost in training on Saturday when Leicester City’s James Maddison rejoined the squad.

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

It had been hoped the playmaker would not need any time off, but his absence extended beyond the second round of matches, although his wait for a World Cup debut could be nearing its end as Maddison returned to training on Saturday .

Maddison has one England cap to his name and hasn’t featured for his country in more than three years, and it looked like his impressive form at club level would not be rewarded until he eventually secured a place in Gareth Southgate’s final squad .

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Saturday’s practice was a light one, with all the starters and used substitutes against the USA given the day of recovery.

Jordan Henderson, who came off the bench on Friday, was in attendance but has been training on his own fitness program away from the squad.

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

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