| Wayne Rooney
Aexpectant nation will have a much clearer picture of whether Wayne Rooney stands a chance of spearheading England’s World Cup challenge when the Manchester United striker goes for a second scan on his broken metatarsal on Thursday.
Although an initial X-ray on Saturday night revealed that the 20-year-old had fractured a bone in his right foot following a tackle by Paulo Ferreira in the game against Chelsea on Saturday, the swelling around the injury prevented doctors from giving an accurate prognosis.
While Rooney has been ruled out for at least six weeks, the second scan will give England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson a better idea of whether it is worth naming him in his squad of 23 on May 15.
Eriksson indicated on Sunday that he would gamble on Rooney’s fitness , even if it meant being left a striker short should the player fail to recover in time for the finals in Germany.
Eriksson received the first bit of good news on Monday when Fifa said he would be able to replace Rooney up until June 9 ' the day before England’s opening group game against Paraguay in Frankfurt.
FA officials had feared that players injured before the May 15 deadline could not be replaced if they failed to prove their fitness.
But Fifa spokesman Andreas Herren said: “Coaches will have players who are crucial to their team and who they hope will be fit in time for the tournament and this gives them a chance to recover fully right up to the beginning of their team’s World Cup.
That provision is there for any player, provided a medical certificate confirms the injury.”
Rooney is understood to have spent Monday at his Cheshire home, besieged by photogra phers.
Friends said his spirits had been lifted by thousands of messages of support from fans.
As Rooney goes for his scan, the FA board is due to meet to ratify the appointment of Steve McClaren as England’s new manager. It promises to be another rollercoaster day at Soho Square.