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 to the Sun.
“I’m prepared to listen to everyone and discuss Rooney, but the last say in this story is Rooney’s and min.”
However, Sir Bobby Charlton, a World Cup winner and Manchester United director, was far more cautious in his appraisal of Rooney.
“If there’s any chance at all it could be detrimental for Wayne if they play him too early, that’s not right for him. And that’s not being selfish in terms of Manchester United, that’s just being realistic about the lad himself. There’s indecision among some of the medical people that suggests there’s disharmony. I don’t think Wayne is the person to ask. He desperately wants to play, but I don’t think that’s a decision he should make.”
Eriksson delivered his message at a news conference on Thursday and left immediately afterwards, refusing to take questions from reporters.