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The World Cup is the greatest prize in football
English hopes for World Cup success have suffered a serious setback with the news that striker Wayne Rooney has broken a bone in his foot.

20-year-old Rooney collapsed in agony after a harmless-looking tackle during Saturday’s Premiership game between Chelsea and Manchester United. He was strapped on to a stretcher and carried off the pitch to the applause of concerned fans of both sides.

Tests revealed that he has fractured the fourth metatarsal on his right foot; an injury that will prevent him from playing for at least six weeks. The timing of this injury could not be worse given that England must play their first World Cup game against Paraguay on June 10th.

It seems highly unlikely that the Manchester United player will be fit in time for that match. And some experts think it will be impossible for him to play at all.

One person who does believe that Rooney can make an impact in the World Cup is the England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson. On Saturday he told reporters, “Wayne is a world-class player and we will give him every chance to play in the World Cup; with such a huge talent you have to do that.”

However, Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, takes a less sanguine view. Ferguson responded to Eriksson’s comments by saying, “We will do our best to get the boy to Germany but if he is not fit, he is not going to go.”

Ferguson explained the treatment his young star-player will receive, “Wayne will be in plaster for the next few weeks and he’ll be having regular scans to see how it is healing.” But he also admitted that the injury is a “crippling blow” for the English team.

However, not all is doom and gloom in the English camp. Michael Owen, another important English striker who broke his foot in January, has returned to play for his domestic team, Newcastle United.

On Sunday Newcastle’s manager described Owen as “very close to being 100%” – a comment that makes it seem likely he will be match-fit by June.

GLOSSARY 词汇表

setback 挫折 striker 前锋

in agony 疼痛

tackle 拦截, 对付
a stretcher 担架 the pitch 下了球场
fractured 挫伤,折断 metatarsal 中[跖]骨
fit 健康,康复 make an impact 起到作用, 产生影响
world-class 世界级的 huge talent 极具天赋

sanguine 满怀希望的

treatment 治疗
in plaster 上石膏 scans 照扫描光片
healing 疗养 crippling blow 重大打击
doom and gloom 凄惨,前景不妙

match-fit 身体康复,能够参赛