Terry fit; Cole misses Moldova

  • Last Updated: September 3 2012, 19:05 BST

John Terry looked to have won his battle to be fit for England's World Cup double-header against Moldova and Ukraine.

Ashley Cole: Ankle injury

But Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole was in a race against time to recover for the latter qualifier after being ruled out of Friday's match in Chisinau with an ankle injury.

Blues captain Terry played a full part in training at England's London Colney base on Monday afternoon, looking completely untroubled by his recent neck injury as he headed several balls during the session of more than an hour.

Cole earlier became the second player to withdraw from what had been a 24-man squad for Friday's Group H opener, having struggled with an ankle problem since Chelsea's UEFA Super Cup defeat against Atletico Madrid on Friday.

The 31-year-old was set to be reassessed on Sunday to determine whether he would be fit for next Tuesday's home game against Ukraine.

The injury ended Cole's hopes of becoming the first full-back to win 100 England caps during this month's double-header.

He is currently on 98 and will have to wait until at least next month to reach his century.

It was unclear on Monday whether his ankle injury was related to the long-standing issue that has needed to be managed after matches for club and country.

England boss Roy Hodgson is unlikely to call up cover, with Leighton Baines and Ryan Bertrand having both been named in the original squad.

Striker Andy Carroll had already been ruled out of both games after suffering a hamstring injury on his West Ham debut on Saturday, while Hodgson was already without Wayne Rooney, who suffered a gashed leg playing for Manchester United before the squad was named.

Sixteen of England's 22 remaining players trained today, with those involved in matches on Sunday restricted to gym work: captain Steven Gerrard, Danny Welbeck, Glen Johnson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley.

Hodgson allowed the session to remain open to the media throughout after it was initially scheduled to take place behind closed doors after the first 15 minutes.

Moldova will be most familiar to England's players and fans from the World Cup qualifiers the countries played in 1996.

Those saw the Three Lions rack up easy 3-0 and 4-0 wins but Hodgson was so determined for his players not to take Friday's match lightly that he will order them to imagine they were playing Brazil.

He said: "I know that outside of our little group who are preparing for the game, there will be a lot of thought that Moldova are not very special, not very strong, but we certainly don't go into the game with that thought at all.

"We go into the game knowing they had a draw and a narrow defeat against Holland in the last qualifying campaign.

"If we are not aware of the fact that this is a major hurdle of the 10 hurdles we have to jump over then we would be very, very foolish.

"And, certainly, my message to the players is that, 'I don't care if they are called Moldova. As far as I'm concerned, they could be called Brazil and we have to produce a performance to win us the game'.

"And if it turns out that perhaps they are not that good after all then I will be very happy.

"But I'm expecting them to be good and certainly watching the Moldova v Albania game then they know how to play football."

That Albania match was Moldova's most recent, a 0-0 friendly draw last month.

Hodgson added: "They are like a lot of those teams - they are in that area to the side of Romania, close to Georgia and those parts of the old Soviet Union.

"They are technical players, players who are basically unknown outside of eastern Europe.

"Very few, if any of them, play in Moldova - they play in Russia or Ukraine and in quite good teams.

"So they are obviously highly-respected players but, of course, for us they are going to be pretty much unknown and we are doing as much research and as much video-watching as we can to get some sort of handle to what they will be like.

"We have to come to terms with what's the stadium going to be like, what's the atmosphere going to be like, what's the pitch going to be like - and how good are these players and relate that to the players we choose and make sure they go into the game with the best possible preparation."