Rooney fracture not typical of metatarsal injury

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Wayne Rooney was back playing football in less than seven weeks because the fracture to the fourth metatarsal of his right foot was not typical of the injury, according to the specialists who passed him fit to play Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday morning.

In a bid to clear any lingering suspicion over the speed of Rooney's recovery, the player and the Football Association sanctioned a second statement yesterday on the nature of his injury. Professors Angus Wallace and Chris Moran flew to Germany before the T&T match at the request of the FA to assess Rooney ahead of his selection by Sven Goran Eriksson.

The specialists were invited by the FA, which wanted to make sure that they would be fully covered by their insurance. Manchester United said in a statement on 7 June that Professor Wallace had advised Rooney not to play in the group stages. Yesterday Professors Wallace and Moran said: "We were able to confirm that this fracture was quite different from the typical metatarsal shaft fracture."

Rooney's break was at the base of the fourth metatarsal bone and under the surface of another small bone, called the lateral cuneiform bone. The fracture was located on the spongy cancellous bone at the base of the metatarsal and this heals three times quicker than the hard bone in the metatarsal shaft. Also, it was not a stress fracture, which take longer to heal.

Rooney is understood to have spoken to Sir Alex Ferguson this week, who expressed the hope that he would come back to United's pre-season fully fit.

Although the two professors accepted that declaring Rooney able to play in the T&T game was one "week earlier" than they had anticipated, they both agreed he was "fit to play in the World Cup as from 15 June."