England striker Wayne Rooney may make a surprise World Cup debut for England against Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday.
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has not ruled out the possibility of Rooney playing in that game.
“I’m very optimistic, always. I’m born like that. We have to decide that day by day, to be honest,” he said.
Rooney returned to full training last Thursday after a scan showed his broken metatarsal bone had healed and he is now looking to find match fitness.
However, should the Manchester United player be involved in Thursday’s match, his presence will undoubtedly anger his club manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson wanted Eriksson to keep Rooney on the bench until the knock-out stages of the World Cup.
England defender Rio Ferdinand confirmed that Rooney is desperate to play his part in England’s campaign.
“I heard the chants for Rooney from the fans and he was desperate to get on to the pitch,” Ferdinand said.
“The fans love Wazza and he’s a great player. He’s looking good and he’s just come in there to the dressing room and told me he’s just pulled a ball out of the sky in front of all the fans. So he’s quite happy with that.
“He is in good spirits and is doing well so fingers crossed he’ll be able to play a part in a few games soon.”
The acceleration of Rooney’s return is a reflection on the paucity of attacking options available to Eriksson. With Michael Owen not looking fully match fit and Theo Walcott injured in training on Sunday (ironically in a collision with Rooney), the Swede finds himself with just one fit striker in Peter Crouch.