Defoe back for England at age of 34

Britain Soccer Football - Sunderland v Manchester City - Premier League - Stadium of Light - 5/3/17 Sunderland's Jermain Defoe Action Images via Reuters / Lee Smith Livepic/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe was recalled to the England squad at the age of 34 on Thursday ahead of next week's friendly in Germany and a World Cup qualifier at home to Lithuania.

Defoe has been a lethal finisher for relegation-threatened Sunderland, scoring 14 of the club's 24 league goals this season but has not played for England since he won his 55th cap in November 2013.

Gareth Southgate's squad has been depleted by the absence of striker Harry Kane, who damaged ligaments in Tottenham Hotspur's 6-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Millwall last weekend, and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.

Defoe is the top English scorer in the Premier League after Kane, who has 19 goals to his credit.

England play Germany in Dortmund next Wednesday and Lithuania at Wembley on March 26.

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino, on loan from Man City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man Utd), Michael Keane (Burnley), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham)

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Michail Antonio (West Ham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal),Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Man City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Neville Dalton)