England players are doing something strange to prevent injuries at the FIFA World Cup

England Media Access - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Over the years, injuries before and at big tournaments have seen the downfall of an England team many a time.

Gary Neville and Steven Gerrard were both casualties of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Neville breaking his metatarsal just two weeks before then-manager Sven Goran Eriksson named his squad, whilst newly-installed Rangers boss Gerrard suffered a groin injury playing for Liverpool after the Swede named him in his 23.

Wayne Rooney almost missed the countries venture to Germany in 2006 after suffering the same fate as Neville just six weeks before England's first group game against Paraguay, but he was ruled fit enough to be included in Eriksson's squad.

The 2006 World Cup was also the tournament that Michael Owen tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament in just the first minute of the group game with Sweden, and the once-rapid hitman was never the same on the field after suffering that cruel twist of fate.

2010 in South Africa was also pretty problematic with David Beckham ruled out pre-tournament  then Rio Ferdinand broke down in the first training session on arrival, so you'd understand why Gareth Southgate would want to keep a close eye on his player's physical state before a ball has been kicked.

There's already been one worry in Russia after Marcus Rashford suffered from a knee problem in a training session last week, but thankfully the Manchester United star only missed three days of practice and was back involved by Friday.

It would have been a cruel blow to lose such a talented player just before the start of their campaign, so Southgate's backroom team have gone to extreme measures to try and kick any injury issues to the curb.

England Media Access - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

According to the Daily Mail, England's team doctor Robin Chakraverty has backed the introduction of 'Lizard Heat' pants into the dressing room, which are used to keep player's leg muscles at a steady temperature during rest, limiting the chances of any strains or tears occuring.

It's a completely new method of recuperation for the squad, and whilst the hi-tech 'hot pants' may not win any style awards, they'll hopefully preserve the bodies of the likes of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.

Speaking of England's decision to use his product, Lizard Heat creator and managing director Chris Ashdown said; "I came up with the idea while watching Formula 1 and watching a piece by Sky on the technology and science as to why rubber is warmed pre-race in whatever conditions.

"I applied the concept to football players using far-infrared technology which offers penetrative warmth over the standard solutions like hot water bottles and heated wheat bags or blankets.

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"They decided to adopt a few units for Russia 2018, which as an England fan is a dream come true."

The technology is already used in cycling and by England and Wales' rugby union teams, and with the likes of Manchester City, Everton and Leeds having orders placed for next season, Lizard Heat might be the next big thing in the world of football.

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