World Cup 2022: England’s Kalvin Phillips reveals freak gym accident scare

Kalvin Phillips at an England training session in Qatar
Phillips has only played 14 minutes of competitive football this season
Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

England midfielder Kalvin Phillips won his race to be fit for the World Cup after surgery – but almost ended his chances in a freak gym accident.

The Manchester City player revealed he dropped a weight on his foot in a gym session just two days after he was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Phillips, 26, displayed puncture wounds in his foot as he spoke to reporters.

“If it wasn’t a 5kg plate, if it had been heavier, I think it would have been a lot worse,” he said.

Addressing the media in Qatar ahead of England’s first game against Iran on Monday, he explained: “It’s quite a good story to be honest.

“Before the City game against Brentford [last weekend], being the professional that I am, I went to the gym before the match and was just doing loads of Achilles work on the leg press.

“I’d gone to pull a weight off the rack and there must have been one stuck behind it, and I pulled it off and it landed straight on my foot and cut it all.

“But it’s not too bad – it’s the blisters from training that hurt more. It isn’t too bad, but I stood for about 10 seconds and thought: ‘Oh my god, what was that?’”

Phillips had only played 14 minutes of competitive football this season before being named in the 26-man squad after undergoing surgery for a shoulder problem.

“My shoulder is fine now. I had the operation about seven and a half weeks ago,” he said.

“It was a 12-week recovery, but I did a lot more than I should have done. I wanted to recover quicker so I could go to the World Cup and I’m here now.”

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