Harry Maguire admits his lingering ankle injury is annoying but is determined to play his part in England’s Euro 2020 challenge.
The 28-year-old’s participation in the summer showpiece was in doubt after he was injured against Aston Villa on May 9. He suffered the problem in a challenge with Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi towards the end of United’s 3-1 Premier League victory. The Sheffield-born stopper had played every minute of each of the Red Devils’ Premier League games since arriving from Leicester in 2019.
The injury occurred during his 72nd consecutive match and the centre-back immediately knew it was not good.
“I knew it was quite a bad injury,” he told The Sun. “When I got the results of the scan, I knew it would be unlikely I would made the Europa League final – but we also never ruled it out.
“I would jump out of bed and put weight on my ankle, which I probably should not have done, and test it to see if the pain was still there.
“Every morning, I woke up wishing the pain would be gone. Unfortunately, it was not to be.”
Maguire was ruled out of the rest of the season and watched his team-mates lose the Europa League final on penalties. However, they will return to the Champions League in 2021-2022 after finishing second to Manchester City in the table.
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The former Sheffield United and Hull City star was selected for the European Championship despite his injury. Gareth Southgate gave him the nod in the hope that he will be fit to take his place in the rearguard.
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Reports claim that the man with 32 England caps will not be fit for the Group D opener against Croatia on June 13. England do have plenty of options, with teams allowed to select 26 players for the tournament.
But they will want him in the side after the way he performed at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The giant defender admits the timing of his injury has been a setback.
But he is hopeful of getting back in the thick of the action sooner rather than later.
“To play so many games on the spin and not get many injuries, but to then miss the Europa League final and the end of the season for Manchester United, was disappointing for the club and myself,” he added.
“I have not picked up many knocks. You have freak tackles, people falling on you, you twist things, but I have avoided muscle injuries.
“But I am looking forward to getting back as soon as possible.”