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Rooney to be rested ahead of World Cup

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Manchester United's injured striker expected to miss the next game away at Everton and possibly the rest of the season.

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Christopher Furlong

Those of you watching closely on Wednesday night may have seen that something was slightly wrong with Wayne Rooney. That he wasn't moving as freely as usual. That he was oddly hesitant in his decision-making. That he couldn't kick the ball.

Well, now we know why. According to the Telegraph, Rooney has chipped a bone in his toe, an injury that sounds as inconvenient as it does painful. He is accordingly expected to miss United's visit to his former club Everton on April 20, as United enforce a "period of rest"; reading between the lines, we may not see him back in a United shirt before the end of the season. There's a World Cup coming. And it wouldn't be a World Cup if one of England's senior professionals wasn't going into it with some kind of fitness issue.

It's been an odd season for Rooney. Hamstring strains, groin tweaks; these are part of the job for footballers. But having your head split open by a teammate, then chipping a bone in your toe ... weird and freakish. At least we know Phil Jones isn't to blame this time. And it affords us all one final opportunity to watch Javier Hernandez bustle about and smile, before his heartbreaking transfer in the summer.