Phillips hopeful of World Cup inclusion for England after racing back from shoulder surgery

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Nov 08, 2022, 14:47

Kalvin Phillips hopes to make England’s squad for the World Cup after “recovering as fast as I possibly can” from shoulder surgery.

The Manchester City midfielder left Leeds United in the last transfer window to join Pep Guardiola’s side, but he has only played 14 minutes for the Premier League champions this season.

That has largely been down to a shoulder issue that required surgery in September and left him as a doubt to make Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the World Cup.

Guardiola confirmed Phillips will be among the substitutes against Chelsea in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, though, and the 26-year-old hopes a timely recovery will see him make Southgate’s travelling party.

“The shoulder’s perfectly fine now,” Phillips told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Speaking on the Monday Night Club, he added: “I have gone through a seven-week process of recovering as fast as I possibly can for the World Cup. Everything is going great.

“I’ve obviously not done it for quite a long time now, but I’ve kept my fitness up, and I’d like to think I could play 90 minutes.”

England face Iran in their first game at the World Cup on November 21, but Phillips’ place may be far from guaranteed after making just three substitute appearances since joining City.

When asked about his chances of boarding the plane to Qatar, Phillips said: “I’m not too sure yet. I’m very hopeful that I can be involved. We will have to wait and see.”

While chances have been limited for the England international at City, battling with the likes of Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan for a midfield spot, Phillips praised Guardiola’s management during his injury issues.

“Pep has been great, and he has spoken to me quite a lot. It is part of football, and he understands that,” Phillips said.

“After my first full contact session the other day, he said he would hopefully try and get me minutes against Chelsea.

“[Following surgery] I spoke to Gareth and told him about my situation. I said I understood if he didn’t select me, but he reassured me that ‘as long as you’re fit enough, and you prove you’re progressing well, there’s always a chance you will be called up’.

“I’ve done everything in my power to be as fit as possible, and hopefully I will be involved.”

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