Is Rooney being overplayed?
Anyone who will be cheering England on at this summer’s World Cup must have been wincing at the sight of Wayne Rooney limping his way out of Old Trafford on Sunday.
After playing another starring role in United’s win over Liverpool it appeared Rooney’s knee was once again troubling him.
The former Everton striker suffered an inflamed tendon is his knee while on England duty a few weeks ago and angered his manager Sir Alex Ferguson by still playing 86 minutes of the friendly.
But such is his form a club level Ferguson hasn’t afforded him a rest in the league either. The Liverpool match was Rooney’s 41st club game of the season, but the fact he has scored 32 goals means he is the first name on the team sheet. Anyone with a football bet on him to be top scorer in the Premier League will no doubt be happy as well.
However, his troublesome knee injury is worrying. There is an intense period of matches coming up in the Premier League and Champions League so if Rooney is playing with a knock it will only get worse.
Not that United fans will care, Rooney is playing so well at the moment he could win them the league on his own this season. But he shoulders a similar burden at international level and England supporters fear the 23-year-old will burnout before the tournament kicks off in June. If that happens, England’s World Cup football odds will no doubt lengthen greatly.
Back in 2006 the nation held its breath as Rooney made a desperate race to recover from a foot injury to be fit in time for the World Cup. If he continues to play through the pain barrier from now until May, they could face another anxious wait.