Rice returns to England training at World Cup after illness absence
England's midfielder #04 Declan Rice celebrates after his team won the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between England and Senegal at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on December 4, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

DOHA, Qatar (AFP) -- England midfielder Declan Rice returned to training on Thursday, easing fears about his fitness ahead of Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against France.

Midfielder Kalvin Phillips told a news conference that Rice had taken part in the training session at their Al-Wakrah base.

"I believe Dec is fit, he's back in training and he's fine," said Phillips, who would have been the obvious replacement for the West Ham player.

Rice has been a key cog in England's midfield throughout the tournament so far, starting all four games.

England should be close to having a full strength squad avaliable for the clash with Didier Deschamps' side, with forward Raheem Sterling returning to Doha on Friday after a spell back in England.

The Football Association said that Sterling should be back at the team camp on Friday after spending time with his family in England following a break-in at his home.

Back-up striker Callum Wilson has been nursing a muscle strain.

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