Wayne Rooney has contradicted claims from Sir Alex Ferguson by insisting his ankle has been injury-free all season.
The Manchester United striker made the statement in the aftermath of England's goalless draw with Montenegro at Wembley in a Euro 2012 qualifier. His comments are unlikely to go down well with United boss Ferguson in a troubled season for the 24-year-old which has also seen allegations about the player's private life.
When asked after the Montenegro game if his ankle had caused any problems, Rooney replied: "No, I've had no ankle problem all season."
Rooney also stressed the need to be playing regularly to reach full sharpness after a stop-start beginning to the campaign.
He repeated his denial when asked the question for a second time.
Then when asked "Why did Alex Ferguson say you had?", Rooney laughed and replied: "I don't know."
But he does concede he is still lacking in some sharpness and needs a run of games.
Rooney said: "I felt better against Montenegro. You need the games to get your fitness in. I started the season, played a few games and felt I was getting sharp, and then missed three or four games so you don't feel as sharp as I thought I would do.
"Towards the end of last season I was injured but during the World Cup, I trained every session and had no problems fitness-wise.
"I think in this league you need to keep playing because, if you are not at full fitness, then it's difficult to break teams down."