Rooney may miss beginning of season

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The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney will be out of action for six weeks after breaking a bone in his foot in the Euro 2004 quarter-final defeat by Portugal, coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said yesterday. Rooney hobbled off the Luz stadium pitch after 27 minutes on Thursday following an awkward fall under pressure from Portugal defender Jorge Andrade.

Wayne Rooney will be out of action for six weeks after breaking a bone in his foot in the Euro 2004 quarter-final defeat by Portugal, coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said yesterday. Rooney hobbled off the Luz stadium pitch after 27 minutes on Thursday following an awkward fall under pressure from Portugal defender Jorge Andrade.

"I can't tell you exactly in medical terms but it's a broken bone in his foot and he's supposed to be out for six weeks," Eriksson told a news conference. "It's more or less what happened to David Beckham before the 2002 World Cup."

Rooney's injury will be a worry for Everton manager David Moyes, whose team start the new Premier League season on August 14 against the champions Arsenal. The injury could also stall a possible move for the 18-year-old striker, who has become one of European football's hottest properties after his dazzling performances in Portugal. Rooney scored four goals in the tournament.

Depending on his recovery period, Rooney may be a doubt for the start of England's 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign. England begin with matches against Austria on 4 September and Poland on 8 September.

Everton's medical team are standing by to examine Rooney on his return home. The club's head physio Mick Rathbone told the official website www.evertonfc.com: "We spoke to the England medical team throughout the night.

"Wayne has fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot following a challenge from an opposing player, who stood on his foot. He will be back later today and will see Everton's consultant tonight or first thing tomorrow. He is currently immobilised but it is too early to say how long he is out for."

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