England coach Fabio Capello was awaiting an update on Wayne Rooney’s latest injury problem on Monday, a day before he has to send his provisional World Cup squad to FIFA. Rooney limped off toward the end of Man United’s final EPL game on Sunday.
United manager Alex Ferguson said it was a recurrence of the groin injury the striker picked up, although he believed Rooney would still make it to the World Cup.
The problem for Capello, however, is that he has more players either injured, in danger of breaking down at any time, or recently back from long-term problems.
Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, who appeared to be a certainty to go to South Africa, has been ruled out for three more weeks with ankle ligament damage.
World Cup veterans David Beckham and Michael Owen were ruled out several weeks ago because of injuries and, in Owen’s case, a lack of form.
Rio Ferdinand, Ledley King and Joleon Lescott are all considered high-risk, while Wayne Bridge decided to quit playing for England after the Jonh Terry saga.
Japan coach relying on Honda
Japan coach Takeshi Okada said on Monday he had full confidence in CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda as the key man to help realise his dream of a semifinal spot at the World Cup.
“I have tremendously great expectations of Honda,” Okada said. Honda, 23, has emerged as new hope for Japan, helping CSKA reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time.