England striker Wayne Rooney is a major doubt for the World Cup after fracturing a metatarsal bone in his right foot during Manchester United’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea.
The 20-year-old will be out for six weeks, exactly the amount of time until England’s first game against Paraguay on 10 June.
He was carried off after a challenge by Chelsea’s Paulo Ferreira.
England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson will name his provisional World Cup squad on 8 May and his final squad by 15 May.
The England coach said in March: “If Rooney has a small problem, would you still take him? What alternative do you have?
“If you have a centre-half who might not be ready you can take another one but can you find another Rooney?”
United issued a statement on their website.
It read: “Wayne Rooney has a fracture of the base of the fourth metatarsal on his right foot. He will be out for six weeks.”
Rooney broke a bone in the same foot during England’s quarter-final defeat by Portugal in Euro 2004.