United refute Rooney reports

MANCHESTER United have refuted reports which suggest Wayne Rooney is definitely out of this summer's World Cup.Rooney had a scan yesterday, which allegedly showed 'clusters' of broken bones in the striker's right foot.

MANCHESTER United have refuted reports which suggest Wayne Rooney is definitely out of this summer's World Cup.

Rooney had a scan yesterday, which allegedly showed 'clusters' of broken bones in the striker's right foot.

The suggestion was the 20-year-old could be out for at least three months, effectively ruling him out of Sven-Goran Eriksson's summer plans.

However, in a short statement this lunchtime United have insisted the original prognosis of a six-week gap between the injury occurring at Stamford Bridge last Saturday and a return to full training still stands.


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"Despite stories in the press we believe Wayne is still six weeks away from full training," said the statement.

Eriksson today said Rooney has more than one break in his foot and "maybe'' needs a miracle to be fit for the World Cup. The Swede has been promised an update from United tomorrow.

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But, at the moment, he plans to name Rooney in his 23-man squad on Monday and then keep his fingers crossed.

Eriksson said: "I knew yesterday that he had more than one fracture. That's what I heard.

"I don't know what that means but I'm not that pessimistic. I'm born that way.

"Miracles happen in life now and then, but I don't really know.''

When pressed on whether Rooney now needs a miracle, Eriksson, who was at a Carlsberg World Cup event, said: "Maybe.''

Rooney broke his foot in the 3-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday following an innocuous challenge from Paulo Ferreira.

England doctor Leif Sward will go to Manchester tomorrow to speak to United doctor Mike Stone and discuss Rooney's injury and his World Cup chances.

Unless Eriksson is told Rooney has no chance at all of being fit for any part of the World Cup finals, the striker will be named in the squad on Monday.

Eriksson said: "I will probably name him on Monday. It will be 26 and maybe 27 players. Three or four of those players will know they are reserves.

"I will not rule him out until the doctors tells me there is no chance. No-one wants that to happen. Everyone hopes he can take part in the World Cup at some stage.''

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson hit out at Eriksson's optimism, claiming the England boss was peddling a "wild dream''.

But the pair spoke yesterday and agreed Rooney would stay in Manchester until he was fit to play, rather than join up with the England squad on May 15.

Eriksson said: "We had a long chat about Rooney and the fact that he is going to stay in Manchester.

"I might pick him but he is going to stay in Manchester to do all the recovery until he is football fit.

"I think that's fair. He is staying at home and working with the physios and masseurs in Manchester.

"Nobody knows when he will start running. Nobody knows today.

"He has a serious injury and I will be updated tomorrow because our doctor goes to Manchester tomorrow to see Mike Stone.''

There was better news for Eriksson about Michael Owen, who is still suffered discomfort on his return from a broken foot on Saturday.

Eriksson said: "We have two problems. I am quite sure Michael will be fit but nobody knows about Wayne Rooney today. That's two extremely good strikers.''

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