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Insurance first as Rooney withdraws

Monday October 12th 2009

Fabio Capello will be without his very own Mr Incredible when England tackle Belarus at Wembley on Wednesday.

Instead of preparing to assist England's quest to end a largely successful World Cup qualifying campaign on a high note, Rooney will be back at Manchester United receiving treatment on a calf injury that threatens his place in the Red Devils side to face Bolton on Saturday.

Rooney will of course benefit from the excellent rehab facilities and expertise at Old Trafford but United chief Sir Alex Ferguson will be crossing his fingers. And on Saturday's evidence it was easy to see why.

For, while Rooney's club colleague Rio Ferdinand continues to make basic defensive mistakes, the former Everton striker gave a whirlwind performance, at times making up the numbers on his own after Robert Green's 13th-minute dismissal had left England to battle on with 10.

"Wayne Rooney is incredible," said Capello. "He can play forward, left, right and he defends."

He will not be at Wembley this week though, which leaves Capello with a selection dilemma.

On the basis that he is not going to rip up his entire blueprint, the Three Lions chief could either shift Steven Gerrard into the position he enjoys so much at Liverpool now he has been given the all-clear after limping out of the weekend defeat at the Dnipro Arena with a groin injury.


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