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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Rooney improvement buoys Eriksson
Sven-Goran Eriksson (l) and Wayne Rooney
Eriksson has been delighted by Rooney's progress
Wayne Rooney has stepped up his battle to be fit for the World Cup by taking part in running and ball work at England's training camp in Carrington.

The 20-year-old has been recovering well from his metatarsal injury and will undergo a scan on 7 June.

Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said: "I've always been confident he will take part in Germany. I've always said that.

"He's been working really, really hard. Physically he's very good, and he hasn't put on weight."

We are going to take at least one striker and at this moment it seems to be Defoe

Eriksson on a replacement for Rooney

Eriksson added: "I think we have to wait until 7 June when he has the scan. I look forward to that but from tomorrow he will practice with us, with our physios."

Rooney was accompanied by two members of Manchester United's backroom staff, but the session was stopped once the media were allowed into the official training session.

Eriksson also suggested that Tottenham's Jermain Defoe was ahead of Everton's Andrew Johnson in the race to take Rooney's place in the squad, should the Manchester United star be ruled out.

Defoe will go with the England party to Germany on Monday, and looks set to stay should Rooney's scan on 7 June yield bad news.

606 VIEW

"We are going to take at least one striker and at this moment it seems to be Defoe," Eriksson said.

Assistant coach Steve McClaren also said he was encouraged by the latest developments: "He has been working with the United physios all this week.

"He's stepping things up, having the relevant scans and progressing well."

McClaren, who will take over from outgoing boss Sven-Goran Eriksson after the World Cup, added: "Of course, you never take things for granted in football and with the metatarsal especially.

It's all good news but we have to be careful with him (Wayne) as well

England captain David Beckham

"Hopefully the scans will be OK but you've seen the progress he's making.

"He's a confident lad and he wants to be there and he'll be doing everything possible to be there."

Rooney, who suffered the injury against Chelsea on 29 April, is not expected to play any part in England's Group B matches.

It is hoped that he will be fit for the latter stages of the competition.

England captain David Beckham, who recovered from a broken metatarsal in time for the last World Cup in 2002, added: "He was at the training ground on Thursday and was kicking balls today (Friday). It's all good news but we have to be careful with him as well.

"We have to take the advice of the Man Utd and England physios and doctors because they know best, and we have to listen to Wayne too, and when he feels right.

"If he carries on recovering the way he has in the last few months then I'm sure he will play a part but we have to be careful with him because we don't want him breaking down and Manchester United certainly don't want him breaking down."

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