Rooney cleared to play for England

February 5, 2007

Manchester United have cleared Wayne Rooney to link up with England ahead of Wednesday's friendly with Spain at Old Trafford.

The United striker limped off with an ankle injury in the latter stages of the 4-0 win at Tottenham yesterday.

Sir Alex Ferguson claimed afterwards that Rooney would be assessed by United's medical staff this morning but expressed doubt as to whether the 21-year-old would be fit enough to face the Spanish.

However, the Red Devils have decided to let Rooney join up with Steve McClaren and the squad with the Football Association having the final decision over the forward's fitness.

It is good news for McClaren who faced losing his entire three-man strike force from the November draw in Holland. Joe Cole has already been ruled out with a broken foot, while Andrew Johnson has only just returned to action after an ankle injury.

Having lost eight members of his squad prior to the Holland game, McClaren has escaped relatively unscathed this time around with Tottenham's Jermaine Jenas the only absentee from the 28-man party named on Friday.

However, it is expected that John Terry and Owen Hargreaves will play only minor roles at best following their long-term injury problems with Steven Gerrard set to skipper his country for the first time in three years.