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May 30, 2006 3:00 am
Wayne Rooney will have the next CT scan on his broken right foot on June 7, one week earlier than previously planned. Rooney was scheduled to have the scan on June 14 but England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson requested it be moved forward so he will have time to replace the 20-year-old Manchester United striker if he cannot play at the World Cup.
England are allowed to replace an injured player up to 24 hours before their first match, against Paraguay in Frankfurt on June 10.
The decision to move the scan was reached at a meeting between the England and Manchester United medical teams. Eriksson and United manager Sir Alex Ferguson were also present.
Manchester United said in a statement that both parties agreed "everything possible is being done to aid recovery of a fracture that involves the joint".
Eriksson said he would not comment further about Rooney until June 7. "I don't think it's fair to the rest of the squad that we only talk about Wayne Rooney," he said.
Eriksson said the obsession with Rooney's foot was like David Beckham's recovery from a similar injury before the 2002 World Cup. Beckham played but was not fully fit and England were eliminated in the quarter-finals.
''Rooney is a very special football player, one of the best in the world, but we sometimes forget we have another 22 players in the squad,'' Eriksson said. ''There is too much talk, writing about Rooney's foot. It was the same in 2002 about Beckham's foot."
United, for the first time, revealed Rooney's metatarsal bone has been broken in an area which involves a joint.
This complicates the injury and the recovery process but Eriksson refuses to abandon hope. "I'm always positive about it. I am always very optimistic and and still think he will play a part in the World Cup."
Eriksson has insisted since his B team's defeat against Belarus last week that he would start against Hungary at Old Trafford tonight with what he considered his strongest available team.
But, for the first time, he hinted this might not involve a 4-4-2 formation with Peter Crouch partnering Michael Owen up front.
Eriksson's most obvious alternative is to pack his midfield and play Owen as a lone striker.
This would give Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard the freedom to get forward from midfield and maximise their goal threat.
*CRICKET England have named an unchanged squad as they attempt to wrap up a convincing series win over Sri Lanka in this week's third and final npower Test at Trent Bridge.
Sunday's six-wicket victory at Edgbaston has convinced the selectors to name an unchanged 12-man squad, with uncapped Gloucestershire seamer Jon Lewis included for the third successive match. Durham fast bowler Steve Harmison, sidelined with shin splints for the last two months, has again been overlooked but will join the squad in Nottingham as his county do not have a championship fixture.
David Graveney, the chairman of selectors, said: "We were pleased with the team's performance at Edgbaston. Kevin Pietersen played a magnificent, match-winning innings and there were also excellent performances at key stages of the game from a number of our younger players.
"Steve Harmison is making good progress but he is not yet fully match fit and we have decided not to risk him at this stage."
Meanwhile, Michael Vaughan marked his return from injury with an encouraging half-century to carry Yorkshire to victory over Scotland in the C&G Trophy at Headingley. Chasing a Duckworth-Lewis target of 158 in 30 overs following a series of stoppages for showers - the Saltires actually made 212 for nine in their full 50 - Yorkshire eased home by six wickets as Vaughan hit 67 at nearly a run a ball. The England captain was playing his first competitive cricket this year following surgery on his right knee in December.
*TENNIS Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal set a record for consecutive clay-court wins with a 6-2 7-5 6-1 win over Robin Soderling at the French Open yesterday. Nadal's 54th straight victory broke the record set by Argentina's Guillermo Vilas in 1977. The 19-year-old strolled through the first set but was a break down in the second before fighting back. Soderling crumbled in the third set to hand defending champion Nadal a place in the second round.
Greg Rusedski, the British number one, could not handle the squally conditions as he went down - after saving four match points - 3-6 1-6 6-4 6-7 to Chile's Paul Capdeville.
Rusedski has not been past the first round at Roland Garros since 2001. If Andy Murray beats Frenchman Gael Monfils in their match today, Rusedski will almost certainly lose his number one domestic ranking.
Former champions Gaston Gaudio and Juan Carlos Ferrero progressed to the second round. Argentine Gaudio, the 2004 winner, crushed Croatian qualifier Roko Karanusic 6-2 6-2 6-2, while Ferrero, who triumphed in 2003, came through 6-3 2-6 6-2 6-4 against 17-year-old Argentine Juan Martin del Porto, the youngest man in the draw.
In the women's draw, world number two Kim Clijsters survived a second-set scare against France's Virginie Razzano to reach the second round. The Belgian, a losing finalist at Roland Garros in 2001 and 2003, won 6-0 7-6 (7-4). Venus Williams registered a 6-4 6-3 win over Austrian Sybille Bammer.
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