Rooney reveals extent of horror cut
Wayne Rooney has released a graphic image of a 'horror film' scar on his forehead in an attempt to rebuff claims the injury is not serious enough to force him out of England's World Cup qualifiers.
The Manchester United forward is expected to be sidelined for at least three weeks, making him a doubt for the derby clash with Manchester City on September 22, after sustaining a deep head wound in an accidental clash with team-mate Phil Jones last Saturday.
Rooney required 12 stitches in the gash and then missed United's 1-0 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday before being withdrawn from Roy Hodgson's squad for the qualifiers against Moldova at Wembley and next Tuesday's pivotal clash against Ukraine in Kiev.
But with the likes of Terry Butcher and Paul Ince famously playing on for England despite being left blooded and bandaged by head wounds suffered during games, Rooney's commitment has been called into question.
Clearly irked by such speculation, the 27-year-old responded by posting pictures of the injury, described by England team-mate Theo Walcott as resembling "something out of a horror film" on his Facebook page.
"Some people seem to be questioning my commitment to the England squad and the fact I had to pull out of the 2 games," Rooney said. "There's nothing I would like more than to be helping the lads in the qualifiers.
"I'm sure people will see from these images the reason why I won't be able to play."
The extent of Rooney's wound was revealed for the first time after Rooney was photographed while on a family outing yesterday.
He signed autographs at the theme park for fans, while fellow visitors captured the forward on mobile phones before the player took to Facebook with the image, taken shortly after the incident at the weekend.
United midfielder Michael Carrick, who witnessed the clash with Jones' boot, echoed Rooney's claims by insisted the player would not voluntarily miss international duty.
"We know what he 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.
"It was a bad cut. It wasn't nice to see. It is unfortunate, but it is something that we will deal with."
In Rooney's absence, the English FA was anticipating the second lowest attendance for a competitive England match at the new Wembley for tomorrow night's game against Moldova.
Fewer than 60,000 tickets had been sold for what appears a must-win match for Roy Hodgson's men if they are to reach next summer's finals.
The FA was projecting a Wembley attendance of up to 65,000 at the 90,000-capacity stadium.
That would be the lowest for a non-friendly since just 58,000 turned up for a World Cup qualifier against Andorra at the height of a Tube strike in June 2009. That represented a blip at the time but the sales of tickets for the game against Moldova are in danger of signalling a trend, with the Ukraine qualifier this time last year attracting a crowd of just 68,102 spectators.
The following month's game against San Marino – England's most recent competitive home match – was a virtual sell-out almost certainly because the FA kept ticket prices between £25 and £40.
Prices for tomorrow's game also start at £25, while the FA is offering four tickets in the 15,000-capacity family enclosure for just £60, £20 for two adults and £10 for two U-16s.
Tickets, however, will also be available to buy at the stadium tomorrow night.
A spokesman for the FA pointed out it was in the unusual position of selling tickets for three competitive matches all at the same time, with those for next month's final qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland also currently available.
It expected the latter games to be prove more attractive, as the outcome of them is likely to determine whether England win Group H and qualify automatically for the World Cup.
The new Wembley's lowest ever attendance for an international, the 48,876 that watched England beat Sweden in 2011, was recorded three days after a sell-out for another friendly win against world and European champions Spain. (© Daily Telegraph, London)