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Doc impressed by Rooney's quick rally

The striker has increased his chances of playing in England's opening match.

india Updated: May 22, 2006 14:00 IST

Wayne Rooney's chances of playing in England's opening World Cup match looked much more promising after the team doctor said he was encouraged by the striker's recovery from a broken foot.

"Everything points to a perfect recovery," England doctor Leif Sward said.

"I have the highest hopes for Rooney and the World Cup and I hope I can give the perfect answer about Rooney after the next MRI examination on Thursday."

"The healing process has been very very good," he added.

Rooney damaged the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot in Manchester United's 3-0 defeat at Chelsea on April 29 and has been in a race against time to be fit for England's first match against Paraguay on June 10.

He has not kicked a ball since picking up the injury but was photographed riding a bicycle at United's training ground 11 days ago.

"He can put pressure on his foot now with the special protection he is wearing," said Sward.

"It seems Wayne Rooney has the gift of healing quickly but it's not that strange. Young people have that gift, much more than older patients," Sward prompted.