A Fuss Over a Fever

Stay safe, James--get yourself a food taster! (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

James Milner, who apparently had an impressive display against the Platinum All-Stars on Monday, had to sit out training in Rustenburg on Tuesday. Jamesy had a touch of fever and so he was forced to rest, which is really fine by me considering the fact that nearly every day we learn of another horrific injury. Tuesday's was Nani, who suffered a collarbone fracture Friday, with the Portuguese FA waiting until yesterday to confirm that he wouldn't be able to play in the World Cup.

Although most players who have suffered injuries in the lead-up to South Africa have been hurt by opposing teams in these ridiculously termed "friendlies", Rio Ferdinand saw his dream of lifting the cup ended by our very own Emile Heskey. I still think Ivanahoe was doing England a favor by eliminating Rio, who hasn't impressed this season, but at the same time Mr. Heskey doesn't always do the best job controlling his bulk, and it's quite possible that James could be his next (unintentional) victim.

It's obvious that having Milner in midfield improves the squad, so having him miss a day of training as a precaution isn't necessarily a negative. If I could bundle up all these players in cotton wool (save for Michael Carrick) I would. But I can't, so how about England works on some basic hygiene practices: Cover your mouth when you cough. Use that silly hand sanitizer. Don't sip from one another's water bottles. And for goodness sake, don't go eating food from the street vendors or drinking iced beverages. Normally I'm all for embracing the local culture and not worrying about a fragile immune system, but now's not the time for authenticity, boys. Having a parasite does not help your nation lift the cup.

And to be on the safe side, let's also stay away from any foods and beverages offered to you by strangers. In fact, let's bring in tasters to make sure that nothing has been slipped into the meals that are prepared for you. There are many Englishmen willing to take on the potentially risky task of tasting meals, I'm sure, if it means that their squad stays healthy. You know, the lads should probably stay away from any, shall we say, salacious offerings in South Africa. Who knows what sort of seductresses might be lying in wait to infect or harm the England players?

This cup is cursed--the amount of players dropping on the field should be proof of that. The Three Lions should take every precaution imaginable to keep themselves from getting injured.Take my advice, England players--your country is depending on you. And Mr. Lampard, again, if you need anyone to shake your shoes to check for scorpions, I can jump on a plane to South Africa. Just say the word.

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