By Merseyside correspondent

Raheem Sterling had a painkilling injection on his injured toe ahead of England’s victory over Lithuania on Friday night.

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The Liverpool attacker lit up the second half of the country’s 4-0 Euro 2016 annihilation, playing the full match before being released from the squad and excused England’s friendly in Italy next Tuesday.

Sources have told Football Insider that Sterling has also been taking painkilling injections on his injured toe ahead of recent Liverpool matches to allow him to continue playing.

Speaking after Friday night’s fixture, England manager Roy Hodgson confirmed that Sterling “has been playing through an injury for a while now” and “I have known for a while that he needed this injection.”

The 20-year-old has played 50 games this season and will now be allowed to return to Liverpool to avoid potential burnout and rest his injured toe ahead of the Merseysiders’ lunchtime Premier League clash against Arsenal next Saturday.