Larsson fresh for Euro 2012 after Sunderland injury

Seb Larsson
Seb Larsson
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SEB Larsson insists he feels fresh for the European Championships after taking an enforced breather from the finale of Sunderland’s season.

Swedish midfielder Larsson missed the last three games of Sunderland’s campaign after undergoing a hernia operation, which kept alive his prospects of appearing at next month’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

The 26-year-old is now recovered and has been able to play a full part in Sweden’s pre-Euro training camp on the island of Gotland, south of Stockholm, prior to tomorrow night’s friendly with Scandinavian neighbours Iceland.

Larsson believes it may prove to be fortuitous that he was able to enjoy a rest at the end of a draining campaign, in which he started 32 of Sunderland’s 35 Premier League outings prior to his injury.

“I feel good. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve played a match after having the operation,” he said.

“After playing so many matches throughout the season, it was great from a mental viewpoint to be able to relax a bit and focus on a different type of training in doing some rehab work.

“It all starts here (for the European Championships). We start the build-up now and set our sights on what is to come.”

Sweden will provide England’s opposition in their second group game, with Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions meeting Erik Hamren’s side on Friday, June 15.

Larsson is expected to be in the starting line-up that day after scoring four in his last four outings for his country. But the former Birmingham City midfielder may be thrust into an unfamiliar right-back role, with Celtic defender Mikael Lustig an injury doubt for the tournament.

Sweden boss Hamren has hinted that Larsson could be an option in defence, although the Sunderland man is not keen to feature as an emergency full-back.

Larsson added: “I am here as a midfielder and that is the position I am competing to play in.

“You never know what happens during tournaments or matches.

“But I don’t see that position as the one I’m competing for.”