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Hodgson: Rooney fit for England

ESPN staff
August 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Rooney trains with England

Roy Hodgson is confident Wayne Rooney can put a troubled few months at Manchester United behind him to possibly line up from the start for England against Scotland.

Rooney has been the subject of two unsuccessful bids from Chelsea this summer, and continues to try to engineer a move to join Jose Mourinho in London. United however have repeatedly insisted that he is not for sale.

Injury problems have also ensured that Rooney has not played any first-team football in pre-season. He did feature in a behind-closed-doors friendly for United against Real Betis on August 3, but subsequently missed Rio Ferdinand's testimonial and Sunday's Community Shield victory over Wigan with Moyes citing a shoulder injury as the reason for his absence.

However less than 24 hours after United's Wembley win, Rooney took full part in training with Hodgson's England squad at St George's Park.

And Hodgson insists Rooney is physically, and mentally, ready to play a part against in Wednesday's friendly.

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"It's difficult to assess with the naked eye how match-fit people are, but there's no doubt in my mind that he's not suffering from a physical injury," Hodgson said.

"It will be interesting to get the feedback from our training sessions and we can see how he looks. We'll speak with Wayne tomorrow morning.

"Since he's got over the injuries he's not been able to train as intensively as we did today, so we'll see how that pans out.

"He tells me that he's been training on his own while Manchester United have had games, on some fitness work, but he hasn't had a chance to do a session like we had today where he was involved in functional aspects of play.

"I expect him to tell me that everything was fine and I expect him to get up fit and ready to go tomorrow morning as well.

"His mind is fine. He can compartmentalise club and country, which I expect from all players. Players cannot bring their club problems to England. If there were any problems with England, they cannot take them back to their clubs. It is two separate identities.

"I expect players, when they come here [to join up with England] to be fully focused on playing for England."

Hodgson is also keen for Rooney's club future to be sorted out one way or the other as soon as possible, with England preparing for four vital World Cup qualifiers in September and October.

"It would be very nice if (his future is clarified) both for him and his club, and of course my hope and desire is that will happen," Hodgson added.

"In my year and a bit as national team manager I've been faced with the situation where players are not necessarily always playing in their team, but because they have the qualities we're looking for, they still manage to be selected.

"I'm hoping that will be the case with Wayne, but I'm not prepared to make any statements that if he's not playing for a club side he can't be considered for England."

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