Wayne Rooney: Injury Could Be a Blessing For England

Chris JennerCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2010

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 31:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United walks to a waiting car as he leaves Manchester Airport on crutches after injuring his ankle during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Manchester United on March 31, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

When Wayne Rooney hobbled of the field in Munich on Tuesday, no doubt bad memories started flying through the head of every English person who cares anything about football.

Now they can rest a little easier.  An initial scan has determined that there is no significant damage to Rooney's right ankle, and he should be fit to play in as little as one month's time, thus ending fears of ruining his World Cup campaign.

This would not have been Rooney's first unfortunate foot injury for his country.  In 2006, Rooney broke the same foot 2 months before the World Cup, and though he managed to play in Germany that summer, he clearly was not 100%.  Then there was the 2006 European Cup, that saw Rooney hobble off the pitch after breaking the same foot against the Portuguese in their quarter-final match, which they went on to lose in a penalty shootout.

With so many extra games being played these days by the big clubs, many of England's finest start wearing down around this time of year.  Ashley Cole had been the latest casualty from the England starting eleven until Rooney went down.  A few years back, there was David Beckham's broken foot just prior to the 2002 World Cup.  Beckham was England top man at that point, and although he made it back in time to play as Rooney did in 2006, his play also suffered.

This injury to Rooney should not prevent him from being fit for South Africa however, and although it is a massive blow to Manchester United's hopes, it could be seen as a blessing in disguise for England supporters.  This injury could allow Rooney to heal up the niggling knee injury that has continued to crop up in recent weeks, one that could  have become an increasing problem as South Africa approaches.

With United having at least one more European fixture, and games against the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham on the horizon for the Red Devils as they make their title push, no doubt resting Rooney would have been a luxury manager Sir Alex Ferguson could not have afforded.

Now however, Rooney will be able to give his entire body a well needed rest just before the biggest tournament of his life, and we very well could see a fit, and well rested Wayne Rooney in South Africa as a result.