Wayne Rooney looks set for a collision with his boss at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, after claiming he has been injury-free all season.
Ferguson said Rooney had been suffering from a "straightforward ankle injury" when asked to explain why the striker did not travel to Valencia recently for a Champions League clash. And the United manager blamed the injury again when he left Rooney out of the game at Sunderland 11 days ago, saying at the time: "I have to take the view that this injury has been niggling away for a while and he kept on playing."
Rooney, however, claims he has been injury-free this season. When asked after England's midweek draw with Montenegro if his ankle had caused any problems, Rooney replied: "No, I've had no ankle problem all season." Then when asked "Why did Alex Ferguson say you had?", Rooney laughed and replied: "I don't know."
Rooney first encountered problems with his ankle in the Champions League quarter-final with Bayern Munich on March 30 but was deemed fit enough to return for the second leg. Although Rooney was believed to be suffering from the injury in the run up to the World Cup, he is adamant he was fully fit for the tournament even though he was a shadow of his normal self before starting the season for United. Rooney concedes, however, that he is currently lacking in some sharpness and needs a run of games.
Rooney said: "I felt better against Montenegro. You need the games to get your fitness in. "I started the season, played a few games and felt I was getting sharp, and then missed three or four games so you don't feel as sharp as I thought I would do. "Towards the end of last season I was injured but during the World Cup, I trained every session and had no problems fitness-wise. "I think in this league you need to keep playing because, if you are not at full fitness, then it's difficult to break teams down."