Rooney out of England group games, at least...

May 26, 2006

Wayne Rooney has been told he will not discover when he can resume training for another three weeks.

In what appears to be a potentially fatal blow to Rooney's chances of appearing at least in the group stage of this summer's World Cup, Manchester United have released a statement saying they are satisfied with his period of recovery but confirmed he will require another scan on June 14 to determine when he can start training again.

'A further CT scan will be performed in Manchester on June 14 to assess further his recovery and a decision will then be made as to whether he can begin to participate in football training,' said the statement.

Although the statement fails to indicate whether Rooney will be allowed to link up with the England squad in Germany at any point, it makes clear the bulk of his recovery will take place under the guidance of United's medical staff in Manchester.

Even if Rooney was given the all-clear to resume training immediately by the June 14 scan, he would have barely a week to get himself fit for a potential last 16 knockout game.

The news is bound to cast severe doubt on the likelihood of him taking part in the tournament at all, a decision which will now rest with Sven-Goran Eriksson.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has consistently attempted to play down speculation over Rooney's chances of making it to Germany and is adamant the 20-year-old should not travel with England unless he is 100% fit.

Eriksson is of the opinion that Rooney should go if there is any chance of him taking part at all, although it appears England would now need to reach at least the semi-finals for him to take any meaningful part, and if the results of the June 14 scan are not positive, he still would not be allowed to train.

'His (Wayne's) injury is progressing as expected and we now hope to gradually increase his rehabilitation as planned,' continued the statement.

'Manchester United's medical department have and will continue to monitor his progress, practising evidence base medicine. The England medical team have been informed of these findings.'