Rooney's inclusion in the World Cup squad is a massive break for coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, but is still only another step on a difficult road to recovery for the country's greatest talent.
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If England start their campaign well, Eriksson can afford to bide his time and keep his powder dry until Rooney is well down the road with his rehabilitation.
If results are poor, the temptation to play his trump card, even a high-risk one, may prove too tempting to resist.
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For now, though, if England were searching for a morale-boost to lift an already buoyant squad, the return of Rooney to their World Cup hideaway fits the bill perfectly.
07 June 2006
Striker Wayne Rooney has been cleared to rejoin the English National Team at the World Cup. Although his recovery in time for the tournament had seemed like a long shot, the gods have smiled upon him and upon England, which is, by the way, the official World Cup team of Infamy or Praise. Rooney is not fully-healed, but in this case, "good enough" is great news for England, which will play Rooney only if it must during the First Round against Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sweden: