Rooney faces FIFA heartbreaker
Wayne Rooney's World Cup dream suffered a potentially shattering blow when Manchester United confirmed the striker will be out of action for six weeks after breaking his foot in the Premiership clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
A short statement released by Old Trafford revealed Rooney had broken the 'fourth metatarsal on his right foot'.
"Wayne Rooney has fractured the base of the fourth metatarsal on the right foot and he will be out for six weeks," said the United statement.
England's World Cup opener against Paraguay on June 10 is exactly six weeks away.
When Rooney fractured the fifth metatarsal on the same foot in the Euro 2004 quarter-final defeat to Portugal, it was 10 weeks before he played again.
Rooney, 20, who was stretchered off in the 3-0 defeat by the champions yesterday, travelled back to Manchester with his team-mates before heading straight to a private hospital where the precise extent of his injury was diagnosed.
He suffered the injury in a challenge for possession with Paulo Ferreira in the 79th minute.
And, despite the reassurances of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who claimed after the game he had been told by United staff Rooney was 'okay', the initial fears as Rooney was taken down the tunnel have now been confirmed.
And, with England's opening World Cup game just six weeks away, national coach Sven-Goran Eriksson faces a major dilemma over the player's selection.