England striker Wayne Rooney has been given an extended break to get fit before the European Championship after playing while injured for Manchester United in the final games of the Premier League.
England coach Roy Hodgson revealed details of the unspecified injury,which United manager Alex Ferguson had not disclosed as his side tried and failed to stop Manchester City winning the Premier League last weekend.
While United also wouldn’t comment on the detail of the injury,the website of the Daily Telegraph reported that it was a toe problem.
Rooney is suspended for England’s first two Euro 2012 games next month,and is also not set to feature in the warm-up matches against Norway and Belgium before the team heads to the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
“I think he’ll benefit from the rest and also he’s been playing with a slight injury for the last three or four games and that needed a couple of weeks to really clear up,” Hodgson said. “It’s a minor injury which has been kept relatively quiet for obvious reasons that Manchester United didn’t want to alert opponents. It’s a minor one.
“I won’t go into it because Alex has kept it quiet so I’m going to.”
Rooney is due to join up with the England squad on May 29 in the buildup to the June 2 match against Belgium at Wembley Stadium.
“His enthusiasm for the task was really fantastic and when I offered him even a couple of more days rest if he wanted he was adamant he wanted to get in when we met up for the friendly against Belgium,” Hodgson said. “He wanted to be a part of it. I would have given him a few days because we’ve got time to get people fit.”
Rooney has been pictured in the British media on holiday in Las Vegas this week clutching what appeared to be a bottle of beer in a casino.
“The good thing these days about football players,although it’s not necessarily the perception out there in the wide world,is that they actually look after themselves quite well,” Hodgson said,speaking generally and before the pictures of Rooney emerged.
“I’m not saying they don’t have a drink occasionally and get themselves drunk but they don’t need much to get drunk,a lot of them,because they’re quite fit people.”
Rooney will watch from the sidelines when England starts the Euro 2012 group stage against France and Sweden after receiving a two-match ban from UEFA for kicking Montenegro defender Miodrag Dzudovic in the final qualifier. He will be eligible for the Group D finale against Ukraine in Donetsk.
Rooney scored four goals at Euro 2004,when he was only 18.
But he did not score at the 2006 or 2010 World Cups while England didn’t qualify for Euro 2008.