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Lallana’s England return cut short after groin injury

The 30-year-old will miss the UEFA Nations League opener against Spain on Saturday.

Adam Lallana’s England return has come to a premature end after a groin strain sustained in the first training session led to his withdrawal from the squad.

Preparations are under way for Saturday’s UEFA Nations League opener against Spain and next week’s friendly Leicester, but injuries have  already
thrown things off kilter for the Three Lions.

Raheem Sterling pulled out of the squad on Monday with a back complaint
and the following day Lallana withdrew due to a groin strain suffered in the first training session since the World Cup.

The Football Association has no immediate plans to replace either attacker but have handed a shock call-up to uncapped Fulham goalkeeper Marcus
Bettinelli.

The 26-year-old was part of the England Under-21s set-up when Southgate was in charge, heading to the European Championships with them in 2015.

Bettinelli won just one cap for the Young Lions and started the last two Premier League matches for Slavisa Jokanovic’s promoted side, having failed to make the first two squads.

The goalkeeper will join Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and uncapped Alex McCarthy in the squad.

Press Association Sport understands that the FA contacted Fulham about the call-up two hours before the training session that led to Lallana’s withdrawal.

Last season’s injury issues cost the 30-year-old a place in the squad that reached the World Cup semi-finals over the summer.

Lallana was recalled for the upcoming fixtures, but the Liverpool attacking midfielder will have to wait to add to his 34 caps.

Press Association Sport understands that he started Tuesday’s session at St George’s Park but had to leave with a groin complaint that has now led to his withdrawal.

A statement from the Football Association read: “Adam Lallana has returned to his club for further assessment of a groin strain.

“The Liverpool player was withdrawn from training earlier this afternoon and will play no part in England’s forthcoming fixtures against Spain and Switzerland.”

Lallana’s injury setback is a blow for a player that had worked with the Three Lions throughout their World Cup preparation camp, only to watch the finals from afar.

The attacking midfielder started Tuesday’s training session at St George’s Park, where Dominic Solanke was brought up from the England Under-21s squad to bolster numbers in training on Tuesday.

It was the Three Lions’ first session since the World Cup and one that those involved in Premier League action on Sunday left early, including rejuvenated Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw.

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