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Manchester City defender emerges from quarantine ahead of Euro 2024 opener



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England international centre-back John Stones has returned to training having been confined to his bedroom at the national team’s Germany base this week.

The scare concerning the Manchester City defender came in the final days of preparation before England’s European Championships group stage opener against Serbia on Sunday afternoon.

With Harry Maguire having been left out of the England squad due to injury, Gareth Southgate has been left with Stones as his only go-to central defender that has been an ever-present in his side since taking over the job in 2016.

And despite a challenging campaign at club level with Manchester City, as Stones battled both personal and physical problems leading to a reduction in opportunities on the pitch, Southgate showed his faith in the 30-year-old by calling upon him for this summer.

However, more uncertainty has shrouded Stones’ preparations in the last few days, having been withdrawn from training ground duties as an emergency to prevent wider problems within the squad, before returning to action 24 hours later.

As per Sky Sports’ Rob Dorsett, the Manchester City defender has been battling a sickness bug which kept him out of England training on Wednesday, before subsequently being confined to his bedroom to prevent a spread within Gareth Southgate’s camp.

It is further admitted that Stones is now in doubt for England’s opening game of their 2024 European Championships campaign against Serbia this weekend, and even if he was to start the match, it is now unlikely he would complete 90 minutes.

However, in a significant boost ahead of that contest, Stones has returned to training almost immediately following his bout with illness, partaking in England training as normal alongside his teammates on Thursday.

Elsewhere in European Championships Group C, England will take on the challenge of Denmark and Slovenia alongside their opener against Serbia, in a mini-league that almost certainly has potential to be a significant hurdle for Gareth Southgate’s squad.

England also come into the tournament in a difficult run of form, having only won one of their last five matches in international friendlies and qualifying for the tournament across Germany this summer.

A 1-1 draw with North Macedonia in late November was followed up by a 0-1 defeat at Wembley Stadium against Brazil, before a 2-2 draw against Belgium saw England react with a comfortable 3-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina.

However, the final contest and warm-up before the tournament left England somewhat shellshocked, with Iceland recording a 0-1 win against the Three Lions at Wembley Stadium earlier this month.