WORLD CUP 2010: Wayne Rooney: Injuries are a pain in the neck but I'm not scared!

26 May 2010 08:59
Robust: Wayne Rooney put in a typically physical performance against Mexico at Wembley on Monday

England star Wayne Rooney has no intention of protecting himself to ensure he gets to the World Cup in one piece. 

Rooney injured his neck during the latter stages of Monday night's friendly win over Mexico at Wembley, sparking yet more concerns about his well-being.  

It is only a month ago that Rooney was struck down by ankle and groin injuries that helped wreck Manchester United's bid for Premier League and Champions League glory.

Fabio Capello - who is also sweating on the fitness of Gareth Barry - moved quickly to allay fears about the 24-year-old's latest knock, and Rooney clearly has no intention of wrapping himself in cotton wool to avoid further fitness concerns.  

'You have to go into each game and play like you normally do,' he said. 'If things happen then hard luck. We'll just have to get on with it. It's not pressure. I just try to give my all every time I play.  

Discomfort: Rooney asked to be substituted against Mexicoafter suffering a slight injury but was told to stay on the pitch by England boss Fabio Capello

'I actually feel quite good. I have a bit of a stiff neck but that will be gone in a couple of days.'

A more obvious problem is the fact Rooney has scored just once in his last seven games, having bagged 10 in a similar amount of time just before.  

Sunday's final friendly with Japan in Graz offers another opportunity for the striker to end that run, and open a gap over Peter Crouch that narrowed to just four when the Tottenham man scored his 21st international goal on Monday night.  

Capello has a more pressing worry about his first-choice holding midfielder Barry, who is struggling with damaged ankle ligaments.

Setback: Rooney's fine season for Manchester United never regained thesame momentum after he was injured against Bayern Munich in March

Although the Manchester City player visited a specialist on Tuesday for an assessment on his injury, there has been no public clarification from the FA about whether the 29-year-old will be fit for duty in South Africa.

Barry has returned to his club for further treatment, which is not the greatest sign.

However, as Capello's own stipulation is that the former Aston Villa man must be available for the Group C opener against the United States on June 12, there is still time.

And, on the evidence of the Mexico match, Capello might be tempted to adopt a flexible attitude to his own rules in order to keep Barry involved.

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Source: Daily_Mail