Hodgson won't sweat on Rooney medical bulletins

Mon Dec 2, 2013 6:04pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Roy Hodgson is sanguine about the regular injury bulletins he will receive between now and next May but the England manager may pay extra attention to Wayne Rooney's wellbeing.

When fit and focused Rooney is unquestionably England's key man and probably the first name Hodgson will write on his World Cup squad list for the June 12-July 13 finals in Brazil.

Yet injuries and disciplinary problems have meant that the 28-year-old, apart from Euro 2004, has not made an impact at major tournaments.

He flopped at the 2006 World Cup after recovering from a foot injury, missed several games in the ill-fated qualification campaign for Euro 2008 through injury and was ineffective and moody in South Africa in 2010.

At the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine, Rooney was suspended for two games after being sent off in the final qualifier, although he did score against Ukraine to help England reach the quarter-finals where they lost to Italy.

It is hardly a roll of honor for the 28-year-old but if Hodgson's England are to make any impact in Brazil, Rooney firing on all cylinders as he is doing at present will be vital.

"I'm very fortunate in that we've got senior players, of which he's one, who do have a big influence," Hodgson told reporters at a news conference to announce the Football Association's new four-year partnership with Mars Chocolate.

"A Wayne Rooney in this sort of form would be very good.   Continued...

Newly appointed England soccer manager Roy Hodgson poses for a photograph in the home dressing room at Wembley Stadium in London May 1, 2012. REUTERS/Andy Couldridge/pool