World Cup 2014: Steven Gerrard hampered by groin injury

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in Rio
Steven Gerrard (left) in England training

England captain Steven Gerrard did not take a full part in the squad's training session in Rio on Monday because of a slight groin injury.

Gerrard performed some shuttle runs on the touchline away from the rest of the squad, before heading inside.

Steven Gerrard: England captain's World Cup highs & lows

However, there seems to be no doubt about his availability for Saturday's World Cup opener against Italy.

The 34-year-old Liverpool skipper only played 45 minutes of Saturday's 0-0 draw with Honduras as a precaution.

Manager Roy Hodgson and England's medical team will keep a close eye on Gerrard ahead of Saturday's game in Manaus, but his injury is only regarded as a slight problem.

The rest of the squad had a strenuous session in searing heat at the Urca Military Base at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain, a magnificent setting around 30 minutes' drive from the team hotel in Sao Conrado.

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continues to do rehabilitation work on the knee injury he sustained in the 2-2 draw against Ecuador, with Hodgson confident he will be ready to take part in the World Cup - even though he may miss the early stages.

England players thank Brazil fans at World Cup

England's players received a warm welcome from the locals, and before training the squad lined up behind a banner that read "Obrigado Brasil pela recepcao calorosa", which translates as "Thank you Brazil for your warm welcome".

They were then serenaded with a version of We Are The Champions and traditional music from a samba band from the Bola Pra Frente favela.

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