LONDON, England: The head injury that has sidelined Wayne Rooney looks like “something out of a horror film”, according to his England colleague Theo Walcott.
Rooney was left with a sizeable gash on his forehead after being caught in the face by Manchester United team-mate Phil Jones earlier this week.
The wound required stitches and forced the 27-year-old striker to withdraw from England’s squad for the World Cup qualifying double-header against Moldova and Ukraine.
Asked to describe the injury during a press conference at England’s St George’s Park training base, Walcott pointed to a bottle of water beside him and said: “I’ve seen a picture of it and it’s about that big.
“It is a very big gash. It is not a nice sight, to be honest. It is not going to help his looks, I wouldn’t think. It’s not very nice to see. It’s like something out of a horror film.”
United midfielder Michael Carrick, who saw Rooney get injured, dismissed suggestions from journalists that his team-mate should have taken inspiration from Terry Butcher’s iconic, blood-stained performance in a 1990 World Cup qualifier against Sweden by putting himself forward to play. “We know what he (Rooney) is like,” Carrick said.
“If there was a way of playing, he would. It is easy for people to look at the past and compare with what has gone on, but every situation is different.”
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge had been in line to deputise for Rooney at home to Moldova on Friday, but he is now doubtful with a thigh injury that prevented him from training on Tuesday.
With Tottenham Hotspur’s Jermain Defoe yet to start a league game this season, it means either Rooney’s United team-mate Danny Welbeck or Southampton’s Rickie Lambert will lead the line against Moldova.
“It is sad to see Wayne out, but it is an opportunity for someone to come in and take their chance,” Walcott added.
“Danny Welbeck has started the season well for his club and Rickie Lambert has had a great start to his England career, so the manager has some great options and I am sure he knows what to do.”
Defence is also an area of concern following a run of four games without a clean sheet, and centre-back Gary Cahill admits the squad are still adjusting to life without John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, who both retired from international football last season.