England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said striker Wayne Rooney is "injury free" and will be able to play at the World Cup as soon as he is match fit. The 20-year-old returned to England's camp late on Wednesday after a scan on his broken foot in Manchester.
"I'm doing this in the best interests of Rooney, the England team and 40 million England fans," said Eriksson.
"I'm prepared to listen to everyone and discuss Rooney, but the last say in this story is Rooney's and mine."
The England coach delivered his message at a news conference on Thursday and left immediately afterwards, refusing to take questions from reporters.
Our man in Baden-Baden, chief football writer Phil McNulty said the Swede was in an unusually assertive mood.
"Eriksson has rarely sounded so bullish over an England issue, reading from a prepared statement and refusing to take questions.
"He even tugged at the heartstrings of the nation by saying he will do what is best for Rooney, England and 40 million England fans - seemingly asking them what they would do if they were him.
"But it was significant that he did not speak about what was best for Manchester United and perhaps even more pointedly, their manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
"The unspoken message coming out of Eriksson's statement was that England and United are not necessarily of the same mind regarding Rooney's stage of recovery."
Rooney has been out of action since breaking a metatarsal in his right foot against Chelsea on 29 April.
There were fears the injury would rule the Manchester United striker out of the entire tournament.
His club issued a statement after Wednesday's scan saying the 20-year-old would be fit - but only after the group stage of the tournament.
United added that at that point a "very careful assessment" would be needed to decide if Rooney could participate.
The striker attended England training on Thursday ahead of the opening World Cup game against Paraguay on Saturday.
And Eriksson insisted the star, who had been tipped to be England's star player before the tournament, was only now working on his fitness.
"The good news from Wednesday evening and today is that Rooney has no more injury. He's injury free," he said.
"Now, it's up to us to get him match fit and, when we think he's match fit, I'm prepared to take in any specialist we want to take in, or Manchester United want us to take in."
Upon Rooney's return to the England camp, the BBC's chief football correspondent Mike Ingham - in the reception of the team's hotel in Baden-Baden when the striker returned - heard him declare 'The Big Man is back in town'.
England captain David Beckham said the players were pleased to see Rooney back in the fold but insisted they were focused on Saturday's opening match against Paraguay.
"It's nice to have him back but to be honest we haven't really been thinking about it too much as the players have been concentrating and focused on training and it hasn't been a distraction," he said.
"Wayne's been doing the same tests and his fitness level is up there with the rest of us but whether he plays is up to the management."
98.03.21 Anhembi, São Paulo 00.03.23 Ancienne, Bruxelles 01.01.14 Rock In Rio, Rio de Janeiro 05.06.20 UIC Pavillion, Chicago 05.06.22 Madison Square Garden, New York 06.03.15 Credicard Hall, São Paulo 09.01.13 Forest National, Bruxelles 09.01.30 Zenith, Lille 09.05.09 Anhembi, São Paulo 12.05.02 Espaço das Américas, São Paulo 16.03.13 Autódromo de Interlagos, São Paulo 18.11.08 Anhembi, São Paulo
I hope he can play the third match in this group phase, he can't come after 2 months of not playing and reappear in the quarterfinals... it'd be better for him if Englande wins the first 2 matches, he plays the third one with no pressure at all and gets back in shape for the decisive stages
garys: That's a drag
Sept 30, 2021 17:49:23 GMT -5
JohNLiaM: THIS IS HISTORY !
Oct 3, 2021 13:04:53 GMT -5
moonlightdriver: Wow, Just noticed the riff at the very end of the Familiar To Millions version of Gas Panic sounds like the intro of Magic Pie (somewhere around 7 mins). Am I hallucinating or... ?
Oct 7, 2021 6:40:35 GMT -5
stevie28: I need to find Knebworth Tickets! Message me if you have any extra for sale
Oct 8, 2021 16:36:28 GMT -5
thechief10: Thanks for the audio edit, I found all the links down, yours is active
Oct 12, 2021 22:47:57 GMT -5
Oct 13, 2021 11:19:53 GMT -5
artumlobov: ARTUM LOBOV
Oct 15, 2021 12:26:44 GMT -5
captainsoul: Tie yourself to the mast my friend and the storm will end! Now make it easy on yourself!
Oct 28, 2021 18:30:53 GMT -5
mattchewthekaiju: Donated to ProBoards. Thanks for everyone that contributes to this community. Been a fan since high school, so going strong 15 years. Peace and Love to everyone
Nov 18, 2021 15:28:13 GMT -5
JordanGrenke: Happy to Donate! I've been a member of this board for more than 15 years, if not the full 20. It's the least I can do!
Nov 19, 2021 21:04:31 GMT -5
artumlobov: Cheers Jodz
Dec 7, 2021 4:45:55 GMT -5
mazur: jonhky are you here?
Dec 30, 2021 8:12:55 GMT -5
popeyebonaparte: Kind of a long shot I know but I'm trying to find a cassette of Knebworth 1996 but they weren't sold outside the box sets. Is there any chance that someone on here bought the box set but has no use for the cassette and would want to sell me theirs? Thanks!
Jan 7, 2022 7:43:17 GMT -5