England boss Hodgson to use unfit Rooney sparingly

The Manchester United striker has suffered a series of setbacks during pre-season, while the Three Lions manager also hailed Rickie Lambert, who earns his first call-up
Roy Hodgson intends to treat Wayne Rooney with care after calling up the Manchester United striker for England's game against Scotland despite his lack of match fitness.

The 27-year-old has yet to feature in the Premier League champions' pre-season preparations, first picking up a hamstring injury before being ruled out of United's most recent friendly with AIK due to a shoulder problem.

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And although Hodgson has selected the wantaway forward, who has been forced to train with the Red Devils' reserves as he angles for a move to Chelsea, the Three Lions boss expects to use him only sparingly.

“Obviously [Rooney's] not fully match fit but that's obvious,” Hodgson told reporters.

“[But it is] important to have him with us in the squad and assess how many minutes we can have from him.

“I spoke to David [Moyes] and he understands it's important to have him in the squad. It may not be ideal [lack of pre-season minutes] but it's very good that he can join us.

“When we meet up with him and speak with him I’ll make a judgement call on that. Last thing I want to do is play him for too long and run the risk of injury.”

Southampton frontman Rickie Lambert, who also celebrated the birth of his daughter on Thursday, earned a maiden call-up to the England national team, and Hodgson praised the 31-year-old's ascent up to the top flight of English football.

“This is a man who has come up the hard way, starting in non-league,” Hodgson continued.

“I first came across him at Bristol Rovers when I was at Fulham. If a man has worked hard to prove his worth over the years, he fully deserves his call-up.

“There are a couple of others, Daniel Sturridge and Andy Carroll, who might be ahead of him but are unavailable.”