Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has given England ‎a major fitness boost, writes John Cross in Manaus.

England midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain has begun kicking the ball as he steps up his recovery from a medial knee ligament injury.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was put through a hard session as the Three Lions trained on the pitch in the Arena Da Amazonia on Friday night.

That will support England boss Roy Hodgson's hope that Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit for the second Group match with Uruguay next Thursday.

Hodgson has declared all of his other 22 players fit for tonight's opener with Italy as they look to start their tournament on a positive note.