Wayne Rooney was able to make a quick return to action because his injury was not a typical metatarsal break.
The 20-year-old England and Manchester United striker has given permission for the details of his injury and recovery process to be made public.
It reveals his fracture was on the bone at the base of the metatarsal, which heals three times faster than the bone in the metatarsal shaft.
And it was not a stress fracture, which would have taken longer to heal.
Professors Angus Wallace and Chris Moran, the independent medical experts who passed Rooney fit to play against Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday, released the information.
The Manchester United striker played as a substitute in the match, just six weeks and five days after breaking the fourth metatarsal in his right foot.
The Professors said the excellent medical care Rooney received from Manchester United and England was also crucial to his speedy recovery.
“We have been impressed with the careful management of Wayne’s foot injury by the Manchester United medical team which had managed him in a totally expert manner,” a statement from Wallace and Moran read.
“Wayne had discomfort in his foot for only five days and has now been pain free for six weeks. His rehabilitation programme was started after 48 hours, initially by the Manchester United medical team and later by the England medical team. Dr Leif Sward, the England team doctor, contacted us earlier this week to advise us that Wayne had, in his opinion, achieved full fitness and should be able to play in the Trinidad and Tobago match. At his request we flew to Germany on Wednesday and carried out a very careful assessment of Wayne on Thursday. We both recognised that this was a week earlier than we had anticipated declaring him fit. But it is now our independent opinion that Wayne has made a full recovery from his injury and we declared him fit to play in the World Cup.”
Wallace and Moran were invited to act as independent experts by the FA.
They both work at the Queen’s Medical Centre which has treated 751 metatarsal fractures in the last 18 months. The orthopaedic experts saw the original scans of Rooney’s foot on 5 June and agreed he would be able to play in the World Cup finals.
And after consulting with colleagues at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, they decided Rooney had a chance of playing in England’s final Group B game against Sweden on 20 June.
Rooney had another scan on 7 June, after which Manchester United issued a statement to say they thought the striker would not be ready to play until after the group stages of the World Cup.
They said this was the independent medical opinion but the latest statement from Wallace and Moran contradicts this.
At no point do Wallace and Moran suggest Rooney will be ruled out until the knock-out stages of the competition.