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By ESPN Staff

Nike on the defensive over injured Rooney's boots

Nike insist the design of their boots had 'nothing to do with' Wayne Rooney's latest foot injury.

The Manchester United and England striker faces two months on the sidelines after suffering a hairline fracture of his left foot during the clash with Reading on Sunday, the third time since 2004 he has suffered injuries to his feet.

The first forced him off in the Euro 2004 quarter-final against Portugal and delayed his debut with Manchester United after his move from Everton.

The second happened just before the 2006 World Cup, giving the player a race against time to be fit for the finals in Germany.

Some have speculated that modern boot design puts players at greater risk of foot injuries, but Charlie Brooks, head of corporate communications for Nike UK, has told Channel 4 News that the boot that Wayne had been testing was not to blame.

He said: 'He himself is personally absolutely confident, as we are, that the boot had nothing to do with his injury.

'Nearly 20% of the professional players in the Barclays Premier league this weekend were wearing this boot.

'I think it is a boot that stands up to all kinds of testing...and stands up to on-pitch demand.

'I think what happened to Wayne is an unfortunate football injury.

'When we were developing this boot we worked extensively with Wayne.

'He was part of the development testing process...he went over to our headquarters in the United States and he tested the boot extensively over there.'

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the injury would keep the 21-year-old out for two months, making him a major doubt for England's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia.