DOHA, QATAR - Sunday, December 4, 2022: England's Jordan Henderson during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at the Al Bayt Stadium. England won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jordan Henderson “hasn’t been able to train fully” with England

Jordan Henderson was an unused substitute during England’s 2-1 win over Italy on Thursday, with Gareth Southgate explaining training limitations were behind the decision.

The Liverpool captain was absent from the Reds’ final game before the break at Real Madrid due to illness, it was the same reason for his appearance off the bench at Bournemouth.

Despite his recent bout of illness, he was selected by Gareth Southgate for the Three Lions’ two Euro 2024 qualifiers, against Italy and Ukraine.

For the trip to Naples, though, Henderson was named on the bench with Southgate instead opting for Kalvin Phillips in midfield alongside Declan Rice.

Explaining the decision, Southgate told Channel 4 prior to the match, “[Jordan Henderson] was big part of the World Cup but has not been able to train fully, so we’re keeping him back.”

It’ll be music to Jurgen Klopp‘s ears as the bigger picture during international duty has not always been at the forefront, but that Henderson is being managed will be welcomed.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 3, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Glasgow Rangers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The positive will be that the 32-year-old’s inclusion in the squad in Naples does not point to a serious or persistent issue, only that he is rightly being taken care of.

Before his absence in Madrid, Henderson had featured in ten consecutive games, five of which were as part of the starting lineup.

He has played the 11th-most minutes of any Liverpool player so far this season (1,745) and has missed seven games due to either illness, injury or personal matters.

A small break from playing ahead of the final 12 games of the season is not a bad thing for Liverpool, who play seven of those matches in the space of 30 days starting from April 1 at Man City.

England, meanwhile, host Ukraine on Sunday and Henderson will no doubt be hoping to play a part in the qualifier and make it two wins from two.