Date: 30th April 2006 at 10:15am
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Wayne Rooney will be out for six weeks after breaking his foot at Stamford Bridge, and his World Cup dreams are in tatters!

Rooney was stretchered off during Manchester United’s 3-0 defeat by Chelsea, having suffered the injury in a challenge for possession with Paulo Ferreira.

The England boss has a double ‘wammy’ to face, because at the same time the United striker was carried off at Chelsea, Michael Owen was hobbling around the park at St Andrews.

Sven-Goran Eriksson must now decide whether to take Wayne Rooney and/or Michael Owen, and chances are NEITHER will make it.

United statement: ‘Wayne Rooney has fractured the base of the fourth metatarsal on the right foot and he will be out for six weeks.’

Rooney went straight to a private hospital nearby Whalley Range, where the precise extent of his injury was diagnosed. And, with England’s opening World Cup game against Paraguay on June 10 exactly six weeks away, Eriksson’s dilemma is now obvious.

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.

Eriksson must name his 26-man squad on May 8 before cutting three names from the list on the final FIFA deadline-day a week later.

There are a number of Eriksson’s squad that are less than 100 per cent fit. As well as Michael Owen – who limped out of Newcastle’s draw with Birmingham on Saturday – Arsenal duo Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole and Tottenham’s Ledley King are all causing concern.