England manager Roy Hodgson has defended Wayne Rooney's decision to withdraw from the squad for this weekend's World Cup qualifiers.

The Manchester United forward opted out of Friday's clash with Moldova and Tuesday's trip to Ukraine after sustaining a sever gash on his forehead in a training accident with Phil Jones prior to last weekend's Premier League fixture with Liverpool.

Rooney has had his detractors for deciding not to play but Hodgson leapt to his defence ahead of Friday's Wembley encounter with the Moldovans.

"It saddens me, this type of thing, especially for a guy like Wayne Rooney," the England manager said.

"It was a horrific injury.

"From my conversations with (United boss) David (Moyes) 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."

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