By Merseyside correspondent Cam Downes

Eyebrows were raised after Raheem Sterling was given the green light by Roy Hodgson to miss England‘s friendly in Italy next Tuesday due to a toe injury.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League

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

The 20-year-old is set to play his 50th game of the season in England’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Lithuania at Wembley on Friday.

He will then be allowed to return to Liverpool to avoid potential burnout and allow him to rest his injured toe.

Sterling has become the third Liverpool player to withdraw from England duty after Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana pulled out of the squad injured on Monday.

The arrangement may anger Arsenal as they prepare to face the Merseysiders in a Saturday lunchtime kick-off that is the first match after the international break.