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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

PFA chief warns England over Gerrard future

Players' chief Gordon Taylor believes Steven Gerrard's long-term fitness could be put at risk if he is given a painkilling injection to play for England.

The Liverpool captain is battling back from a fractured toe and the national team medical staff have been considering giving him a jab to see him through the crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel at Wembley tomorrow.

But Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, has urged England boss Steve McClaren and his staff to leave Gerrard out if he cannot play without an injection.

'When you have got someone so special, you shouldn't take risks,' Taylor told the Daily Telegraph.

'I want anything for England to do well but I cannot approve of injections. What may be good in the short term you may regret in the long term.

'I am not being alarmist but we are dealing with a lot of cases when lads in their playing days had painkilling injections, with cortisone used too liberally, and it has damaged quite a few bones.

'Managers work in the short term but I would like to see it (jabbing Gerrard) from the health and safety aspect of the PFA.'