LONDON (Reuters): Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips said he has not given up hope of making England’s World Cup squad after making a full recovery from a shoulder injury that has kept him out since September.
Phillips, who joined City from Leeds United in the close season, underwent surgery to fix a recurring shoulder issue and with Southgate naming his World Cup squad on Thursday the 26-year-old knows he may have run out of time to secure a spot.
City manager Pep Guardiola said he would name him on the bench for Wednesday’s League Cup meeting with Chelsea, giving him one last chance to catch Southgate’s eye, and Phillips has no doubts that his injury woes are in the past.
“The shoulder’s perfectly fine now,” Phillips told the BBC. “I’ve 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.”
City’s Premier League game against Brentford on Saturday is their last outing before the season pauses for the World Cup in Qatar, where England open their campaign against Iran on Nov. 22.
“I spoke to Gareth (after surgery) and told him about my situation,” said Phillips. “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’ll be called up’.
“I’ve done everything in my power to be as fit as possible and hopefully I’ll be involved.”