ENGLAND boss Fabio Capello was last night breathing a huge sigh of relief after key defender John Terry was given the all-clear to resume World Cup duties following an injury scare.
The former Three Lions captain was taken to hospital after injuring his foot as he trained with Chelsea ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final with Portsmouth.
It was feared the Blues skipper had broken a metatarsal – so often the curse of England players ahead of major tournaments – but scan results reveal no problem.
“I took a slight knock in training but with such an important match on Saturday the right course of action was to put a protective boot on my right foot and have a CT scan,” Terry said in a statement.
"The scan has shown there is no break and I am hoping to train tomorrow if not Friday and of course play in the FA Cup final on Saturday.”
News of Terry’s injury would have come as a major concern for Capello, who is already sweating over the fitness of fellow centre backs Rio Ferdinand, his captain, and Ledley King as he prepares to head out to his Austrian training base next week.
His major concern remains Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, who must prove his fitness after suffering ankle ligament damage, while Wayne Rooney is also struggling with a recurrence of a groin injury.
Capello will also be aware that metatarsal injuries have been the scourge of England squads in the past with David Beckham and Wayne Rooney both falling victim in the run-up to a major tournament.
Any injury would have also spelt the worst possible end to a rather disappointing season overall for Terry, who, despite leading Chelsea to the Premier League title and the FA Cup final, was stripped of the England captaincy over allegations about his personal life.
As for Capello, this is the first piece of good news after suffering a double setback to his World Cup plans over the last couple of days.
First, he failed to lure Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes out of international retirement as he had with Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher, then he was forced to postpone his plans to rate his England players as part of an online business venture.
RIO FERDINAND - Has played only 18 games in an injury-ravaged season. The captain is confident, however, of still playing a leading role in South Africa
WAYNE ROONEY - Limped off during Manchester United's final game with Stoke after aggravating a groin injury, but says it was precautionary
LEDLEY KING - Long-term knee problems have blighted his career, but four games in two weeks for Spurs shows he can handle the strain
GARETH BARRY - The main concern. Suffered ligament damage a fortnight ago and must now prove his fitness to make the final 23-man squad
JOHN TERRY - Suffered a foot injury during Chelsea training but has suffered no break and is expected to return for Saturday's FA Cup final