THE good news is this: Wayne Rooney flies back to England this afternoon with a sprained ankle. No broken bones, not even his oft-fractured metatarsals cracked when he went over on his left ankle during Manchester United's 2-1 defeat at Bayern Munich last night.
Sky nabbed England coach Fabio Capello outside the airport this morning. He didn't break stride but said in Italio-English: "I'm not happy when I see the injury. When I see a player of England limping. But it's too soon. I will see this evening or tomorrow morning."
But according to sources at United, it is only a sprain and Rooney will be out for "two to four weeks". Not good news for Sir Alex Ferguson, given they've got Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday and the return against Bayern next Wednesday.
But for England, that might just be a blessing in disguise. Rooney, pictured wearing a protective cast around the wounded joint, will get an enforced break from the game. He should be fit for Rustenburg on June 12, for the first Group C clash with the United States.
And let's be honest, United fans, that's all that matters.
With the World Cup now 71 days away according to the FIFA.com counter, this was the best news England fans could have hoped for after the way Rooney limped off last night.
He looked seriously crocked (see picture above) and how those three-times broken metatarsals held up when the ankle went, God alone knows. Bless him.
Meanwhile England have crept up to seventh in the FIFA rankings - and Diego Maradona has had his face chewed by his dog.
Not a bad 24 hours really. As long as Arsenal take Barcelona apart at the Emirates Stadium tonight. And Thierry Henry keeps his hands to himself.