England’s preparations have been disrupted due to an injury scare for captain Harry Kane, who underwent an ankle scan. He looked in considerable pain after Morteza Pouraliganji’s tackle in the second half of Monday’s victory against Iran. Kane could not complete the game and was eventually replaced by Callum

A limping Kane left the Khalifa Stadium and a light strapping on the ankle was visible. After the game head coach Gareth Southgate said: ‘I think Harry’s fine. It looked like a bad tackle but he carried on in the game. We took him off because we felt it was a moment in the game we could do that.’

By video, Kane’s mechanism of injury means he is likely dealing with a mild high ankle sprain. This indicates damage to the syndesmotic ligaments that connect the two lower leg bones, the tibia and fibula. This is more serious than a standard low ankle sprain. These ligaments are slower to heal and tough to play through when injured. It’s also tough to immobilize and support this part of the leg, unlike the low ankle joint.

England are also waiting on news about Harry Maguire who was substituted because he had
“blurred vision”. Maguire started in England’s opening World Cup match but was forced from the pitch in the 70th minute due to injury after being assessed by the England medical team.

Gareth Southgate later confirmed: “Maguire felt ill, [he] flagged it just before the [first Iran] goal and
given the state of the game, we felt it was no point [in him] carrying on.”

Maguire was having a solid game for England before picking up what appeared to be a knock to the
head. If he does have a concussion, which is likely as blurred vision is a clear symptom, he won’t be available for their next match.

England are now facing a nervous wait to discover the extent of Kane’s ankle concern and equally
will be eager to start with Maguire in defence.