LONDON – Striker Wayne Rooney has broken more than one bone in his foot and it could take a “miracle” for him to play at the World Cup, England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said on Wednesday.
Asked if the Manchester United forward still had a chance of going to the finals,
Eriksson said: “I think so. Miracles happen in life now and then … but I really don’t know.”
Pressed as to whether a miracle was needed after Saturday’s injury against Chelsea, the Swede said: “Maybe.
“That it was more than one (bone) I knew yesterday,” Eriksson said. “I have to wait until tomorrow to know exactly what is going on.”
Eriksson told reporters he still expected to name the inspirational 20-year-old in his preliminary squad next Monday for the World Cup which starts on June 9.
England meet Paraguay in their World Cup group opener in Frankfurt on June 10. Eriksson must name his squad by May 15.
“I would be stupid to say that it is not bad if he can’t play at the World Cup. It would be like Brazil missing Ronaldinho, France missing (Thierry) Henry — he’s one of our absolute best players,” added the coach.
“It’s sad but life goes on and you have to play football even without one of your best players.
“But anyhow, we have a very good team, a very good squad and I’m convinced we are going to do a very, very good World Cup anyhow.”
The England doctor is travelling up to Manchester to get a full briefing from United doctors.
Eriksson said he had spoken to United manager Alex Ferguson, who said on Monday he thought it unlikely Rooney would play any part in the World Cup.
“We had a long chat, the agreement was very easy, they are going to do everything they can to get him fit as quickly as possible,” added Eriksson. “We know, of course, it is a serious injury.”
With Rooney’s particpation in serious doubt Eriksson at least gave a positive bulletin on striker Michael Owen.
He said the Newcastle forward would be fit for the finals after making his own comeback from breaking a metatarsal in his right foot in December.
The striker played for Newcastle on Sunday and went for tests after reporting some discomfort. X-rays revealed the player had suffered no further damage.
“He will be fit, I am sure about that,” said Eriksson. “We will have time to get the fitness we want.” — Reuter