Last Updated: Fri, 06 Sep 2013 10:49
Roy Hodgson has leapt to the defence of Wayne Rooney after the Manchester United striker was forced out of England's next two games.
Rooney will play no part in the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova this evening or Ukraine on Tuesday after suffering a head injury following an accidental collision with team-mate Phil Jones on the training ground last week.
The 27-year-old posted pictures of the nasty gash he sustained on Facebook on Wednesday to try and silence the doubters who had questioned his commitment to his country.
Now the England manager has waded into the debate, to laugh off suggestions that Rooney could still play on despite the wound that also ruled him out of United's 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend.
Hodgson said: "It saddens me, this type of thing, especially for a guy like Wayne Rooney. It was a horrific injury.
"From my conversations with David and Wayne, it was clear straight away that we were talking about a very serious injury.
"It was a horrendous cut so to suggest you can just put a bandage over it and go and play centre forward in two games at Wayne Rooney's quality it's laughable really, and it's a little bit saddening that in people's desperation to say something, they complain about it.
"You wouldn't find one doctor would say Wayne Rooney could play in those two games."
Rooney's absence along with an injury to in-form Daniel Sturridge, is likely to open the door to Southampton hitman Rickie Lambert following his impressive match-winning debut for England from the bench in last month's friendly against Scotland.
Have you an opinion on this story? Put your money where your mouth is and claim a free £25 bet.