JT winning race to be fit for England opener

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

But Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole was in a race against time to recover for the latter qualifier after the left-back was 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 yesterday, 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.

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.