Wayne Rooney was forced to miss England's training session this morning so he could receive treatment for a kicked ankle he sustained in the 1-1 draw with the USA on Saturday.
The forward was absent from the main group that took to the pitches at England's World Cup base in Rustenburg and instead worked on the damaged joint in the team-hotel swimming pool.
The injury is not believed to be too serious and Rooney is expected to start in England's second match of the tournament against Algeria on Friday, but, nonetheless, his absence from training comes at a particularly precarious time for Fabio Capello's team. Having lost Rio Ferdinand shortly before the World Cup began, there are now major doubts over the fitness of his replacement in the centre of defence, Ledley King, after the Tottenham captain injured his groin in the draw with USA.
King also underwent work in the pool this morning with the Football Association announcing that they will assess his injury on a daily basis, but England's medical team privately fear that the defender's participation in the tournament is over.
If that is the case then King's place alongside John Terry in the centre of England's defence is likely to be taken by Jamie Carragher, who came on for the 29-year-old at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday. The Liverpool player is scheduled to speak to the media later on Monday.
Rooney and King were joined in the hotel pool by Ashley Cole, but there was nothing particularly remarkable in that given that the Chelsea full-back rarely trains in the immediate days after a match for either his club or country.
On a positive note for Capello, Gareth Barry was able to train with the rest of the squad this morning and now looks certain to make his World Cup bow against Algeria.
The Italian will also be keeping a sharp on his goalkeepers today following the blunder from Robert Green that allowed Clint Dempsey to equalise for the USA on Saturday. It has been reported this morning that David James was “livid” after he was not selected to start the Group C opener and perhaps sensing that he could now usurp Green in the side, the 39-year-old was out quickly in training this morning and began working immediately with the team's goalkeeping coach Franco Tancredi.
© Guardian News and Media 2010