The next scan on Wayne Rooney’s broken foot will now take place on 7 June – a week earlier than originally planned.
Rooney, 20, had been due to fly to Germany with the rest of the England World Cup squad on 5 June, returning a week-and-a-half later for the scan.
However, it was decided at a meeting on Monday to bring that date forward.
The deadline for England to change their squad is 9 June, which means now they will have time to replace Rooney should the scan provide bad news.
If the scan had remained on 14 June, and if Rooney had been passed unfit for the tournament, England would not have had the option of replacing him.
England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said to the Daily Mirror:
“It is important the scan will be done before I have to give the list to Fifa on 9 June. After then I can’t change it. We have to take the decision and we want to have the scan as close to that date as possible. To have had the scan on 14 June wouldn’t mean anything. The request came from us but it is up to Manchester United (Rooney’s club) and when they heard our reasons they were very helpful. We are happy United accepted the scan on the 7 June.”
Jermain Defoe of Tottenham and Andy Johnson, set to move from Crystal Palace to Everton, are the strikers standing by to replace Rooney if he cannot play at the World Cup.
If the scan shows that the fourth metatarsal in Rooney’s right foot has healed, he would have three days to get fit for England’s first group game or, more likely, two-and-a-half weeks to prepare for the first knockout round match should England qualify.
But Eriksson added: “I have always been very optimistic and and still think he will play a part in the World Cup.”