Green light for Rooney
15 Jun 2006 - 13:34:14
Wayne Rooney has been given the green light to play in England's World Cup clash against Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday after being examined by two independent medical experts.
Professor Angus Wallace and Professor Chris Moran assessed the state of the Manchester United striker's foot injury and general fitness before informing England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson that the youngster is available for selection.
The pair were called in to examine Rooney in order to avoid a dispute between the Football Association and United, whose medical staff had recommended that the 20-year-old should not play until the knockout stages of the tournament.
A statement from the experts explained: "This morning's evaluation involved examining Wayne, watching him train, studying video footage of him in full contact training over the past two days and discussions with the England medical staff.
"We have also had an extensive discussion with Ivan Carminati, England's fitness coach and Wayne's fitness levels are better now than before Euro 2004.
"It is clear he has received excellent care and rehabilitation from the Manchester United medical team. This has continued with the England team's medical staff and it is obvious the two have worked very well together.
"Due to his positive attitude and approach and the care he has received, Wayne has made a more rapid recovery than initially anticipated. The injury has healed and we are satisfied that he is as fit as he can be.
"We have carried out a full risk assessment related to returning him to play at this stage and that assessment has indicated that he is at no more risk than any other player who has recovered from an injury and is returning to competitive sport.
"It is our professional medical opinion that Wayne Rooney is now available to play in the World Cup."
Rooney, who has not played since fracturing a metatarsal during a Premiership match against Chelsea on April 29, is not expected to start against the Soca Warriors, but is likely to come off the bench during the second half.