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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 05:29 GMT 06:29 UK
Beckham 'fit to face Sweden'
Beckham participated in a game of one-touch football on Tuesday
Beckham trained with his team-mates on Tuesday
David Beckham will be available for selection for England's opening World Cup match against Sweden, according to coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The England skipper trained with the rest of the squad for the first time on Tuesday, leading the players on a lap of the training ground before participating in a game of one-touch football.

Beckham had previously been restricted to work with England physios Gary Lewin and Alan Smith.

And Eriksson was told during talks with the England medical team on Tuesday morning that Beckham's injured left foot should be sufficiently recovered for him to play on Sunday.

Eriksson said on Tuesday: "Everything looks very good today and we are very optimistic, as he is as well, for Sunday."

Open Quote
Everything looks very good and we are very optimistic David will be fit for Sunday
Close Quote
Sven-Goran Eriksson

"He did a session this morning and he did everything - free-kicks, corners, a lot of shooting and a lot of running.

"So hopefully this afternoon or, for sure, tomorrow morning he will do everything with us.

"And of course, hopefully there will not be a reaction after that. We think he will be ready for Sweden, yes.

"If things go as we think, he will start."

Beckham broke a metatarsal bone in Manchester United's Champions League quarter-final against Deportivo La Coruna in April.

Eriksson's statement comes after weeks of speculation that the England captain would not be fit in time to play against Sweden.

At the weekend, several newspapers said that Beckham would almost certainly not be ready in time to play against Sweden.

Eriksson was forced on Monday to dismiss claims that he was thinking about sending injured captain David Beckham home from the World Cup.

Eriksson is pleased with his injured players progress
Eriksson's injury problems are starting to clear

Eriksson said he would "never dream" of shipping Beckham back to England.

Beckham took part in a light work-out on the pitch before England's 2-2 friendly draw with Cameroon in Kobe on Sunday.

He used both feet to kick the ball.

Beckham's fellow midfielder Nicky Butt has already been cleared to play against Sweden, further easing Eriksson problems in that area of the team.

If Beckham is back for the Sweden game, that would leave only Newcastle United's Kieron Dyer unavailable for the first match.

However, Liverpool's Danny Murphy has had to be sent home after breaking a bone in his foot in training last week.

He has been replaced by West Ham's Trevor Sinclair.


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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Mike Ingham
"He will be ready"
England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson
"He is doing everything"
England coach Steve McClaren
"There is a buzz around the place"
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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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