Maguire grateful to be in Euros after injury

England defender Harry Maguire will be at the heart of Gareth Southgate’s defence in tonight’s Euro 2020 semifinal against Denmark, but he did not know if he would be fit enough to even make the squad after an ankle injury in May.

Maguire suffered ligament damage in Manchester United’s May 9 Premier League match with Aston Villa and missed the rest of the domestic season and his club’s Europa League final loss to Villarreal.

He missed England’s warm-up games and opening two matches in the Euros’ group stage but returned in the final group fixture with Czech Republic and has been alongside John Stones since then.

Asked if he feared he might have to watch the Euros on TV rather than be on the field, Maguire, who scored a header in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Ukraine, said there was uncertainty.

“I think with any injury you don’t know how you are going to recover, you don’t know the rehab, if you are going to have a setback. Touch wood, I haven’t had any setbacks in rehab and it has all gone smoothly, all gone to plan and a little bit quicker than we all thought,” he told a news conference.

“Obviously, to miss the Europa League final was disappointing and then I fully set my sights on making the Euros squad.”

The Yorkshireman said that when he was named in the Euros squad he did not know when he would be ready to return to action but is pleased with the way he has coped.

“It’s not like being thrown into a friendly match, it’s the European Championship, so it’s so demanding and the intensity of each game,” he said.

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